Ok, there's a really old meta conversation (August 2010) that's sort of about this here:

Chilli, Chili or Chile?
When asking my question here I said I wasn't sure what tags I should use.

But it seems that either nothing was done about it or it's again gotten messy. There's no status tag on the question, so I'm guessing no consensus was met. Also, the two tags currently being used have no tag synonyms and no tag Wikis or summaries.

As to the / tags, they have no wikis/summaries either and they're a big mess. There are questions about pepper (peppercorns) and chili peppers, and bell (sweet) peppers. In general, it looks like "pepper" should just be about black pepper and peppercorn (and "white-pepper") should be a synonym of it.

I would like to reopen the discussion (and add in consideration of the four "pepper" tags) and recommend a cleaner, simpler version of the tags:

  1. I recommend that we use the tag for discussions about the spicy pepper varieties and give it an appropriate tag wiki and wiki summary.

    • Nothing can be more clear than adding the word "pepper" to the tag to keep it separate from chili con carne.
    • It would also make it so that the tag would appear in the list should someone try to just use the tag or (which they often do, occasionally in conjunction with the tag chiles, which is redundant).
    • I recognize that in many English-speaking countries these fruits aren't called "peppers" but I believe that, in an attempt at clarity, it will still be understood.
  2. Make all of the various other tags into synonyms of : (36 questions), (17 questions), (not currently used but good to have the synonym in place).

  3. Clean up the tag (59 questions) to sort all of the questions into either or and then blacklist the tag. I did a quick scan and it looks like all of the questions with this tag can be put into one of these two tags. There's no reason for a generic tag unless we get rid of the specific tags and lump them all into the generic one instead (which, I suppose, is an option).

  4. Clean up the tag (there are a couple of chili peppers questions in there) and give it a wiki/summary that states it's for questions about Black/White/Pink peppercorns of the family Piperaceae and make and a synonym.

  5. Make a synonym of something... there are only four (quite old) questions and they all seem to be about chili peppers, so maybe that? Though the Wikipedia page for Bell Peppers claims that they are known by the name capsicum in parts of the world.

Because this all largely is a matter of creating tag synonyms (other than point 3), I believe this would have very little impact on the recent activity page. We could further minimize this by making a synonym of and editing the ones that are about bell peppers (most of them seem to be about chili peppers).

In all, this would take eight current tags (that I've found... though there may be others):

  • pepper
  • peppers
  • bell-peppers
  • peppercorns
  • white-pepper
  • chilies
  • chilli
  • capsicum

and reduce them to three:

  • pepper - for peppercorns of family Piperaceae.
  • chili-peppers - for spicy members of the genus Capsicum.
  • bell-peppers - for sweet members of the species Capsicum annuum.

There does seem to be an argument (largely by Aaronut♦) against the tag but I'm not sure that I understand it.

The rule of thumb for tags is that you never split them. You could add a [chili-peppers] tag if you want, but don't use [chili]+[peppers]. Anyway, [chiles] is clearly the more popular tag referring to the peppers; if that's really confusing to a lot of people (hasn't come up so far) then we'll just add a tag synonym mapping [chili-peppers] and [chilli-peppers] to [chiles].

I don't understand why you would map the more accurate tag to the less accurate and more confusing tag (of which there are now two). If someone wants to tag "chili" the tag would pop up as an option.

There was no [chili-peppers] tag, and you should favour using existing tags over creating new ones, and we already had a [chiles] tag. Either of those two would be valid, but [chili] is not because the term, by itself, refers to the dish, not the pepper. [...]

And I don't understand why we should continue to use confusing tags just because they've been around for a long time. This seems like extremely poor policy. I suppose this is in response specifically to a user asking which tag to use, so perhaps it doesn't apply here since I'm asking that we make a change to the tags that are currently used.

  • ughhhhhh 100% agree that we should synonymize down to far fewer tags, really just a question of whether it should be [chiles] or [chili-peppers] or something else. (p.s. right now it looks like [chilies] is the popular tag, not [chiles], sigh.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 20:33
  • @Jefromi I believe I make a pretty strong argument for chili-peppers. Without "peppers" it continues to have some issues with chili con carne and people attempting to tag with "peppers", which is actually the preferred tag right now with 59 questions, won't find it as an option.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 20:39
  • Yes, my first instinct is that you're right, I just want to make sure we haven't missed anything, especially since it's different from the current popular unambiguous choice (chilies).
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 20:57
  • By the way, while only mods can do the synonym stuff, you can do the sorting out of pepper/peppers questions into unambiguous tags yourself, no need to wait for permission. (That also makes it easier to be sure that the synonymization isn't going to mess anything up.)
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 17:21
  • One small question: what about small sweet peppers that aren't bell peppers or chilies?
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 18:08
  • @Jefromi Is there a question that would need that? If there's a specific species, we can always look to see how it's classified, or we can create a new tag [sweet-peppers]. I'd hesitate to use this tag for bell peppers, though we could.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:14
  • I saw a couple, the easiest to find again is: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/38310/… (which I made bell-peppers because close enough). There are also a few other questions asking about banana peppers (which are mild enough that they're not usually called chilies). I agree, new tag if necessary is probably the best way.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:18
  • @Jefromi Yeah, that example you listed is a bit unclear. I know that a lot of people do can bell peppers, particularly "fire roasted", so it certainly applies to bell peppers... and the OP doesn't classify exactly which peppers they mean.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


All right, absent any argument, I approve of everything.

I had some reservations about , since the existing is clearly the peppers not the stew, but I think gaining tag completion for "pepper" is enough of a win to convince me, and the Wikipedia article is titled "chili pepper" so it's not like no one's ever used the term before.

I've created the following synonyms:

We could possibly do these:

I skipped the capsicum synonym because it's rare and unclear exactly what people will use it to mean, so it's probably easier to just retag if it comes up. I think roughly the same applies to peppers: it could mean chilies or bell peppers so we don't want to assume. We can retag if it comes up, and hopefully the completion hints will encourage people to use a real tag.

I added placeholder tag wiki excerpts for all the final tags to avoid any immediate misuse, but I'm sure they're imperfect, so thanks for offering to help with those.

I believe I've done all the necessary retagging, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to look over things.

  • I think keep it as pepper... I'm worried that people looking for pepper won't think that "peppercorn" is what they want... there are a lot of people who don't realize what the pre-ground pepper looks like.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:16
  • Did you take care of that question that was tagged "peppercorns" but wasn't actually about black pepper? It was about... sechuan pepper or something?
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:28
  • @Catija Yes, just now, thanks!
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:29
  • Great! That was the perfect tag I was thinking of, too... As it's not actually part of the families of either types of pepper/s.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:30
  • Thanks for all of this! It looks great so far. I'll make some good tag wikis with links later today. I have to run some errands but I'll get to it. It's only fair that I do what I can. :)
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:33
  • So, just a slight note... the Wikipedia page actually includes Bell Peppers in with Chili peppers... so I'm going to make sure we're specifying that this tag should only be used for "spicy" peppers.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 21:04
  • @Catija Yeah, because the wikipedia page is actually about all peppers. We're using tags for subcategories here, which seems fine - splitting it up into hot ones and bell peppers (and possibly sweet peppers).
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 22:14

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