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Polony vs. Baloney — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 7, 2024
Polony refers to a type of finely ground sausage, while baloney is a slang term for nonsense or a type of sausage known as bologna.
Polony vs. Baloney — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Polony and Baloney


Key Differences

Polony is a type of sausage made from a mixture of finely ground meats, spices, and fat, traditionally encased and cooked. It originated in Europe and is known for its smooth texture and spiced flavor, often eaten cold in slices. On the other hand, "baloney" can refer to two things: as a slang term, it means nonsense or foolish talk; as a food item, it's an Americanized version of the Italian bologna sausage, typically made from a blend of pork and beef, and known for its mild flavor and smooth texture.
Polony is popular in various forms across different cultures, with variations in spices and meat blends. It's often found in British, South African, and Australian cuisines. Baloney, when referring to the sausage (also spelled "bologna"), is a staple in American deli meats, often served in sandwiches.
The term "baloney" (nonsense) likely derived from the sausage's name, possibly reflecting an opinion on the sausage's quality or authenticity. This usage highlights cultural attitudes and humor rather than culinary preferences. Whereas polony, in its culinary context, does not carry such connotations and is appreciated for its specific taste and role in regional cuisines.
Despite their differences in culinary heritage and cultural connotations, both polony and baloney sausages serve similar roles in their respective cuisines as versatile, processed meat products. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches to salads, but the choice between them may depend on regional availability, cultural preferences, or specific flavor profiles.
The ingredients and preparation of polony can vary widely, reflecting local tastes and meat availability. In contrast, American baloney is fairly standardized, with a specific taste that many Americans recognize from childhood. However, artisanal versions of both sausages exist, offering gourmet takes on these traditional processed meats.

Comparison Chart




Finely ground meats, spices
Pork, beef, spices (varies)


Smooth, homogeneous
Smooth, homogeneous


Sliced for cold meats, snacks
Sandwiches, snacks

Cultural Connotations

Appreciated in British, South African, Australian cuisines
Casual, everyday American deli meat

Alternate Meaning

Slang for "nonsense"

Compare with Definitions


A fine-ground sausage of mixed meats.
We had slices of polony with our breakfast.


Made from a blend of meats.
Traditional baloney uses both pork and beef.


Traditional in various cuisines.
In South Africa, polony is often used in bunny chow.


Often found in sandwiches.
Baloney is a classic ingredient in American sandwiches.


Variations exist globally.
Australian polony differs slightly in spice mix from the British version.


A type of sausage, also known as bologna.
I had a baloney sandwich for lunch.


Eaten cold or fried.
Fried polony makes for a hearty breakfast.


Served in American delis.
He ordered a thick cut of baloney at the deli.


Known for its spiced flavor.
The polony added a nice spice to the sandwich.


Slang for nonsense.
That's just a bunch of baloney!


A kind of sausage made of meat that has been only partly cooked.


Variant of bologna.


Alternative form of palone




(biotechnology) A cluster of polymers produced by clonal amplification of DNA.


A large sausage of finely ground pork or other meat, usually served as a cold cut.


A kind of sausage made of meat partly cooked.


Used to express disagreement or exasperation.


Another name for Bologna sausage


A type of sausage; bologna.


That's a bunch of baloney! I don't believe one word!


Nonsense; foolishness; bunk; - also used as an interjection.
No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney!


Informal variant of bologna{2}, for bologna sausage.


Pretentious or silly talk or writing

Common Curiosities

Is polony the same worldwide?

While the basic idea of polony is consistent, ingredients and spices may vary by region to reflect local tastes.

What's the main difference between polony and baloney?

Polony is a type of spiced, finely ground sausage, while baloney can refer to a type of mildly flavored sausage or slang for nonsense.

Can baloney be used interchangeably with bologna?

Yes, in the context of food, "baloney" and "bologna" refer to the same type of sausage, with "baloney" being the phonetic spelling.

Is one healthier than the other?

Both are processed meats, which should be consumed in moderation. The healthiness can vary greatly depending on the specific product and its ingredients.

How should polony and baloney be stored?

Both should be refrigerated and consumed by the date indicated on the package for safety.

How do artisanal versions of polony and baloney differ from commercial ones?

Artisanal versions often use higher quality ingredients and traditional methods, offering unique flavors compared to mass-produced varieties.

Why might someone choose polony over baloney, or vice versa?

The choice could be based on cultural background, flavor preferences, or the specific use in dishes.

Can polony or baloney be the main protein in a meal?

Yes, both can serve as the main protein, especially in sandwiches or salads.

Why is baloney used to mean nonsense?

The term likely evolved from the sausage's name, perhaps reflecting views on its substance or quality, and became slang for anything considered foolish or deceptive.

Are polony and baloney served the same way?

Both can be served in slices and are popular in sandwiches, but polony is also commonly used in various dishes specific to British, South African, and Australian cuisines.

Can vegetarians eat polony or baloney?

Traditional polony and baloney are made from meat, but there are vegetarian and vegan versions made from plant-based ingredients.

Can polony or baloney be frozen?

Yes, both can be frozen, although this may affect texture. It's best to slice them before freezing for easier use later.

Is polony or baloney better for sandwiches?

Preference for sandwiches depends on individual taste and the specific flavors desired in the sandwich.

Are there regional preferences for polony or baloney?

Yes, polony is more common in British, South African, and Australian cuisines, while baloney is a staple in American delis.

Are there any dishes unique to polony or baloney?

Both are versatile, but polony may be used in specific regional dishes, whereas baloney is often associated with simple, classic American sandwiches.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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