[ surf-uhn-turf ]
/ ˈsɜrf ənˈtɜrf /
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What does surf-’n’-turf mean?

Surf-’n’-turf is a dish consisting of both seafood and meat, usually lobster and steak.

Surf-’n’-turf is sometimes spelled without the hyphens and with a different combination of apostrophes (or none at all). It’s simply a shortened form of surf and turf. The word surf is a fanciful way of referring to the ocean or sea, where seafood comes from, and the word turf refers to grass or land—where cows graze. Surf-’n’-turf is basically a shorter and more fun way of saying meat and seafood together in a single dish.

When it refers to a particular dish on a menu, it’s typically used with the article the, and not a, as in I’d like to order the surf-’n’-turf (not a surf-’n’-turf).

Because it essentially includes two main courses, surf-’n’-turf is usually considered an indulgent meal. Since steak and lobster are both usually expensive by themselves, surf-’n’-turf can be expensive.

Although the classic surf-’n’-turf combination is lobster and steak, it can also include other kinds of seafood, such as shrimp or crab, and other types of meat, such as prime rib.

Example: My favorite kind of surf-’n’-turf is shrimp piled on top of filet mignon.

Where does surf-’n’-turf come from?

The first records of the terms surf and turf and surf-’n’-turf come from around the 1960s. The ’n’ is simply an abbreviation of and. It sometimes appears with two apostrophes, sometimes with one, and sometimes with none (as in surf n turf). This abbreviation is typically used to add a sense of informality, such as in the names of products and companies, as well in the names of other food combinations, like mac n cheese

At restaurants, especially steakhouses, surf-’n’-turf usually involves a lobster tail and a steak, such as filet mignon or sirloin. But the term can be used to refer to all kinds of combinations of seafood and meat, especially when people use it to refer to something they’ve cooked at home (a dish of chicken and shrimp might be called surf-’n’-turf, for example). A similar but less common name for a seafood and meat combo is beef and reef.

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What are some other forms related to surf-’n’-turf?

What are some synonyms for surf-’n’-turf?

  • beef and reef
  • steak and seafood
  • meat and seafood

What are some words that share a root or word element with surf-’n’-turf


What are some words that often get used in discussing surf-’n’-turf?


How is surf-’n’-turf used in real life?

Surf-’n’-turf most commonly involves lobster and steak, but it can refer to a number of combinations of seafood and meat.



Try using surf-’n’-turf!

Is surf-’n’-turf used correctly in the following sentence?

The surf-’n’-turf special tonight consists of mussels and scallops drenched in a garlic-butter sauce.

How to use surf-'n'-turf in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for surf-'n'-turf

surf 'n' turf

a dish consisting of meat served with seafood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012