The debate has been going on for years about what to call the side dish that goes along with the turkey on Thanksgiving. Whenever someone at the table says, "Pass me the #stuffing," someone else at the table is going to chime in and say, "It is not stuffing. It is #dressing." Surely, it makes for a good conversation that sometimes leads to a heated debate. Let's set the record straight. Both comments could be correct. It depends on how the cook prepared the dish.

It is stuffing

It is no brainer that anything that is used for stuffing should be called "stuffing." Therefore, if the cook prepared the dish and stuffed it into the cavity of the turkey, it should be called "stuffing." However, that is not the only way the dish is prepared.

According to the Butterball website, more people call it "stuffing" than they call it "dressing" no matter how it was prepared.

It is dressing

If the dish is prepared and not stuffed into the bird, it is called "dressing" because no stuffing was involved at all. Instead, the dish is used to dress up the table.

Some people insist that the word usage is a regional thing and believe people in the South call it "dressing" and others call it "stuffing." If you believe that it depends on the region, here are some surprising statistics.

According to the Butterball website, eight southern states use the word "dressing" more than they use the word "stuffing." About 62 percent of all the people in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee prefer calling it "dressing." In Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma and Texas, "dressing" is preferred by 52 percent of the population.

People in the South prefer that term because it sounds less offensive.

Used interchangeably

Some people use the words interchangeably whether the food is inside the turkey or outside the turkey. Michelle Darrisaw wrote in an article that appeared in Food & Wine that the dish was called “stuffing” hundreds of years before the word “dressing” came to mean the same thing with the same ingredients.

The term "dressing’" was not heard of until the 1850s. It was during that time that the Victorians changed it from "stuffing" to "dressing." It seems the South embraced the Victorians’ word, but the North kept on using the word "stuffing" that they had always used.

There is a debate about what it is called, but there is no debate about how it tastes. Most people agree that the side dish on the Thanksgiving table is very good. #Thanksgivinig