Although the m-w dictionary says so, I still would like to check with you guys since it's so interesting.
Is a hero the same as a submarine? Is it also called by these names: grinder, hoagie, Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo?

When referring to the sandwich, the plural of 'hero' is 'heros' instead of 'heroes'?
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Although the m-w dictionary says so, I still would like to check with you guys since it's so interesting. Is a hero the same as a submarine? Is it also called by these names: grinder, hoagie, Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo?

Yes, but you must wait for the definitive answer from Areff.
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Although the m-w dictionary says so, I still would like to check with you guys since it's so interesting. Is a hero the same as a submarine?

Yes.
Is it also called by these names: grinder, hoagie, Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo?

Yes. These are all local names for essentially the same thing: a sandwich with numerous ingredients on a baguette-shaped soft bun. There is some local variation in the expectation of what the ingredients will be.
When referring to the sandwich, the plural of 'hero' is 'heros' instead of 'heroes'?

Usually.

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Although the m-w dictionary says so, I still would like to check with you guys since it's so interesting. Is a hero the same as a submarine? Is it also called by these names: grinder, hoagie, Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo?

If the hero is a submarine, the torpedo should be an anti-hero.

john
Although the m-w dictionary says so, I still would like to check withyou guys since it's so interesting. Is a hero the same as a submarine? Is it also called by these names: grinder, hoagie, Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo?

These various terms are regional in nature, with the exception of "sub", which seems to be getting close to being a GenAm national sort of word, thanks in part to the success of those fast food sub chains that Coop likes so much. I think of "sub" as a New England coastal name. (The Subway chain started out in Connecticut IINM.)
Just as the terms are regional in nature, so too the definitions of these things vary regionally. I grew up in New York, the home of the "hero", and I do not believe that a hero is entirely the same thing as, say, a "sub" or "grinder" or "hoagie", let alone a "po'boy". But no doubt all these things, while different, are closely related.
When referring to the sandwich, the plural of 'hero' is 'heros' instead of 'heroes'?

Note that it's not at all clear that a hero (the food) *is* a sandwich, but as for the pluralization, I think both are acceptable. Check a dictionary.
Although the m-w dictionary says so, I still would like to check with you guys since it's so interesting. Is ... Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo? When referring to the sandwich, the plural of 'hero' is 'heros' instead of 'heroes'?

Just occurred to me that the etymology might be from the Greek "gyros," since so many lunch counters are run by Greek immigrants. Any thoughts?
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Although the m-w dictionary says so, I still would like ... these names: grinder, hoagie, Italian sandwich, poor boy, sub, torpedo?

Just occurred to me that the etymology might be from the Greek "gyros," since so many lunch counters are run by Greek immigrants. Any thoughts?

Any thoughts? Yes, I have some thoughts. For Freck's sake, every year we get someone who makes this ridiculous and offensive Brysonesque assertion. Check the Google Groups archives. In particular, I recall that Lars Eighner provided an effective response demolishing this absurd notion several years ago.The "hero" was invented by Italian-Americans, not Greek-Americans. The gyro, which was historically pronounced /dZaIroU/ in the region in which the hero was invented (the New York region), is nothing like a hero. Moreover, the domination of lunch counter places by Greek immigrants was not too noticeable back in the '50s when the hero was invented. Greek immigration to the US really didn't get going till the '60s. My parents grew up in Astoria, Queens, so this is something I know from.

In the '50s Astoria was still a German-Irish neighborhood. My mother's 1952 high school yearbook has one or two Greek-surnamed students out of a class of hundreds. By the end of the '60s Astoria had the largest Greek community outside of Athens. (The changes in US immigration law that made this possible didn't occur till the Johnson administration, IINM.) By the time Greeks were arriving in large numbers the hero was already a staple of New York cuisine.
Certainly Greek-Americans have appropriated certain food items developed by other ethnic groups; for example, many of the worst pizzerias in New York are Greek-American establishments (NTTAWWT, but I think their removal from directly being part of the pizza tradition is one reason why the pizza in such places is no good). Similarly, there are places run by Greek immigrants where you can get a hero. And, BTW, Greek places are excellent if what you want is a hamburger or a nize Reuben sandwich or the like. I wouldn't want a hero from a Greek place, much as I wouldn't want pizza, but the moussaka's probably going to be decent. Also, nothing's better than a nize cup of coffee in one of those cups with the Greek temple design thing and the pseudo-Hellenic lettering.

No one seems to know why heros were named heros, but I think one possibility that's been suggested is that the 'sandwich' is of heroic Herculean size (note: not "Heraklean"), or is fit for consumption by a hungry War hero, of which there were many back in the early '50s.
Yes. These are all local names for essentially the same thing: a sandwich with numerous ingredients on a baguette-shaped soft bun. There is some local variation in the expectation of what the ingredients will be.

They don't have to feature soft bread. Some of the Italian delis here produce the sandwiches on half loaves of the crusty Italian bread.
Brian Rodenborn
Yes. These are all local names for essentially the same ... variation in the expectation of what the ingredients will be.

They don't have to feature soft bread. Some of the Italian delis here produce the sandwiches on half loaves of the crusty Italian bread.

Indeed, I think such is the traditional approach for the traditional hero. I'm glad to see St. Louis is following the correct path.
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