A butty is another word for sandwich over in these parts, usually reserved for combinations involving a bread and breakfast meat. Sarnie also means sandwich, though I'm not sure the difference between a sarnie and a butty. It's like how the Inuit people supposedly have hundreds of words for snow - the British have a lot of different ways to say 'stuff between bread'.
Did you know the word 'sandwich' came from someone named John Montagu who "revived the concept of bread as utensil" in the 1700s. He named his revival after himself - he happened to be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. Incidentally, Hawaii used to be known as the Sandwich Islands, named after the Fourth Earl by Captain Cook. The word butty came a few decades later and has less certain origins, though it is believed to be a slang combination of the words 'bread and butter' (how's that?) and originated in Yorkshire.
Only today was the concept of the chip butty unveiled to me and I just totally don't get it. The concept seems as goofy to me as the idea of eating pasta with rice on top. Has anyone eaten one of these? Was it good? Please enlighten me.
The chip butty so inspires some people that there is a song that is sung at Sheffield football matches - Sheffield being in North England where the chip butty is quite beloved. Sung to the tune of John Denver's Annie's Song:
You fill up my senses
Like a gallon of Magnet
Like a packet of Woodbines
Like a good pinch of snuff
Like a night out in Sheffield
Like a greasy chip butty
Like Sheffield United
Come fill me again....
Na Na Na Naa Naa Naaaaa, ooo!
Image of the Chip Butty from Fotobank.