Hoagies, Heroes, Grinders, Subs, they're all just sandwiches. And you know who knows about sandwiches? Sean Curry. He's got a whole website about sandwiches.
But for the rest of us sandwich novices, it can be hard to differentiate when to call a sandwich a hoagie versus a sub. And it doesn't get any easier when mom and dad fight about it on the air.
But fear not, the HSWT Wiki is here to the rescue with a primer on these tubular sandwiches that should help set things to rest.
Every D&D podcast listener is familiar with heroes. Our adventuring parties are filled with them. But these Heroes usually only conquer your hunger and are vulnerable to bite attacks. The term hero is generally used in New York City, and while the actual origin is unknown, I believe it is either indicative of the heroic self image held by most New Yorkers, or from the fact that you have to be a freakin' super hero to survive living in Manhattan. So there you go.
Grinder, or more correctly, Grindah, is a predominantly New England incarnation of sandwich, brought to you by the same people who cut the top of their bread open to put lobstah soup on it. Grinder was a New England term for dock workers, who apparently loved this type of tubular sandwich in the early days of dockworking. Grinders also are characterized by having tougher rolls, and so requiring tougher chewing. Outside of New England, though, most people "swipe left" on this term.
The term hoagie appears to derive from the earlier term Hoggies, which referred to the primarily Italian-American (or Italian-Italian) dockworkers who worked on Hog Island in Philadelphia during the same early days of dock working. Long sandwiches, apparently being specific primarily to dockworkers, the sandwich these gentlemen preferred was referred to by the same name. Hoagies is used to refer to a long sandwich from Baltimore to Jersey, but is primarily used by Shoobies who didn't bring their boxed lunch with them down the shore, or Baltimorians whose cars were so full of National Bohemian that they couldn't pack a lunch on the way down the ocean. Hoagies tend more often than not to be Italian-style sandwiches, as opposed to regular baloney and cheese.
Subs, or Submarine Sandwiches, of course named after the British nobleman, the 5th Earl of Submarine (or not), and is the most popular widespread term for long tubular sandwiches across the country. Subway, the popular sandwich chain, popularized the name in recent years beyond the dockworking community, and made Subs a regular part of every post-modern American's vocabulary and digestive flora. The term likely stems from the appearance of the sandwiches as long cylindrical bodies with rounded ends, which appear similar to a naval submarine. I'd have to guess that these submarines were spotted by dockworkers. Cause why not.
So take your pick, HSWT fan, and munch away, because no matter what you call it, a cylindrical sandwich roll, sliced horizontally and containing slices of various cured meats, cheeses, roughage and dressings, can be a delicious part of any D&D adventure. No matter which name you choose, you'll have a great time. But only use one name at a time, because if a guy named Hoagie says you'll be the Hero by being his Sub on Grinder, you're in a world of hurt.