Difference between coldslaw or coleslaw

In the culinary world, the terms coldslaw and coleslaw often cause confusion, primarily due to their phonetic similarity. However, it’s crucial to note that coldslaw is a commonly misspelled variant of the correct term, coleslaw. This article aims to clarify these terms, focusing on coleslaw, its definition, origin, pronunciation, and usage in sentences.

Quick Facts Table

DefinitionA salad consisting of finely shredded raw cabbage and sometimes shredded carrots, dressed with mayonnaise or a vinaigrette.
OriginDerived from the Dutch term “koolsla”, meaning “cabbage salad”.

Difference Between “Coldslaw” OR “Coleslaw”

Definition of Coldslaw

Coldslaw does not have a definition as it is a misspelling of coleslaw.

Definition of Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a salad made from finely shredded cabbage and often mixed with shredded carrots. It can be dressed with mayonnaise, vinaigrette, or another dressing.

Origin of Coldslaw

  • The term coldslaw originated from a common misspelling or misunderstanding of the term coleslaw.

Origin of Coleslaw

  • Coleslaw has its roots in the Dutch word “koolsla”, where “kool” means cabbage and “sla” stands for salad, indicating its traditional components and preparation.


  • Coleslaw is pronounced as /ˈkoʊl.slɑː/, emphasizing the ‘o’ in the first syllable.

Comparing Coldslaw and Coleslaw

When comparing the two, it becomes apparent that the primary difference lies in their spelling and the fact that coldslaw is merely a mistaken version of the correct term, coleslaw.

Comparison Table

ValidityIncorrect termCorrect term
DefinitionA salad made of shredded cabbage and a dressing
OriginMisinterpretationDutch “koolsla” meaning cabbage salad

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Coleslaw in Sentences

  1. Coleslaw is a popular side dish at barbecues, offering a refreshing crunch.
  2. Many people prefer coleslaw as a healthier alternative to other creamy salads.
  3. The tangy dressing of this coleslaw perfectly complements the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.
  4. Homemade coleslaw can vary greatly, with some recipes including nuts and fruits for added texture and flavor.
  5. A light coleslaw, dressed with vinaigrette, is an excellent side for fish dishes.


In summary, while coldslaw is a common misspelling, coleslaw is the correct term for this delightful, crunchy salad that has become a staple in many culinary traditions around the world. Understanding the origins and correct usage of coleslaw enriches one’s appreciation for this versatile dish.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What is the main ingredient in coleslaw?
    • The main ingredient in coleslaw is finely shredded cabbage.
  • Can coleslaw be made without mayonnaise?
    • Yes, coleslaw can be made with a vinaigrette or other dressing alternatives to mayonnaise.
  • Is coleslaw a healthy dish?
    • Coleslaw can be healthy, depending on the ingredients used, especially if made with a light dressing.
  • How long can coleslaw be stored in the refrigerator?
    • Properly stored, coleslaw can last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • Can you freeze coleslaw?
    • Freezing coleslaw, especially if dressed with mayonnaise, is not recommended as it may affect the texture and flavor.

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