Grill vs. Grille – The actual grammar difference, finally resolved

As a noun, grill means (1) a cooking surface using parallel metal bars, (2) a device that cooks with a grill, or (3) a restaurant offering grilled food. As a verb it means (1) to grill, or (2) to question relentlessly.

Grille, which is only a noun, usually means a grating used as a screen or barrier on a window or on the front of an automobile.

Grille is often used instead of grill in restaurant names—e.g., Salt Creek Grille, O’Connell’s Irish Pub & Grille, Arooga’s Grille & Sports Bar. There’s no good reason for this. It’s just something some restaurateurs do.

To get all up in [one’s] grill is to be extremely annoying, especially through nagging or by covering an opponent closely while playing a sport.

Also, in American slang, a grill is a plate molded to the teeth, usually decorated with diamonds or gold


These writers use grille correctly:

The 200 S has a black chrome grille and 18-inch wheels with black accents. [Automobile Magazine]

Police said the thieves climbed a security grille and broke through a second-storey window … [Stonnington Leader]

These writers use grill correctly:

Maryland lawmakers are planning to grill utility company representatives next week about why so many customers were left in the dark following last week’s snowstorm … [Washington Post]

It may be winter, but don’t try telling that to the grill — or the people who use them. [Delta Optimist]

And let’s not forget the American slang sense of grill:

Here Simms pulled off his gold grill, revealing plain white teeth. [Baltimore City Paper]

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