“Mummy, why is it called an Allen Key?” my son asked inquisitively.

“Let me Google it” I said rather curious myself.

“No Mummy, why isn’t it called something else, like an Ellen Key?”
Sweet Jesus no! I wasn’t ready to get into this with someone so young! I mean I didn’t have the deep and meaningful answers for that question either.

My son was helping his sister to build one of my many flat pack purchases from Kmart. As much as I love the speed of building things myself, I also love child labour- I’m kidding I promise!

Builds Them Up

What I actually love is the confidence it gives them, I love watching them work out instructions which baffle my mind yet they seem to understand quite well. I love their teamwork in getting the job done together and how unlike when they’re playing with toys with each other, this task of building something for the home doesn’t allow room for a disagreement to break out.

They’re forced to work productively and cooperate with one another because they rely on each other’s strengths. God knows I’m not going to intervene because when I set a building task it’s usually because I am absolutely DESPERATE to get something else done around the house (don’t panic, I’m still right there and as an added bonus they’re not left with anything too dangerous).

I Wasn’t Ready To Tackle It!

With all the current name changes underway I thought his question was perfectly timed. This didn’t however mean that I was anywhere near ready for it!

We’ve just had the name change of candy, cheese and even certain names of breakfast cereals have been brought into question. Currently, there are talks of particular ice creams having to change their names as well, so as to not cause offence. And you know what? It’s such a controversial topic that I avoid even stating the names in question so that I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

Should We Really Change The Allen Key’s Name?

Am I really going to have to remember to call yet another product by a different name? So instead of an Allen Key, what exactly would it be?

Slow down child, I do not know what the right answers are, but I am proud that you are questioning things. Proud, yet nervous because God knows that I don’t know what I’m going to do when the time comes that we can no longer refer to even things like white bread as ‘white’…

White Bread Is Cancelled

“Darling would you like that on white or brown bread?”
“Mummy stop being so prejudice!” is most certainly not a conversation I am ready to have but fear I will one day face with the names of so many different things changing – and especially if I’m already being asked why an Allen Key isn’t an Ellen Key.

No matter how careful and inclusive one tries to be there is always a chance for things to come across as insensitive or to cause offence to someone unintentionally. And time very much plays a factor too. Just because I used stretched out ‘Red Skins’ to decorate cupcakes last year doesn’t mean I can actually call them that this year in the same recipe.

I Can’t Believe You Called The Bread White!

Similarly to this, who knows if I will still be able to refer to bread as ‘white’, or not- or if someone reads this article years from now and rolls their eyes thinking ‘I can’t believe she called the bread that!’.

I need to teach my children to not only be kind, but to be fluid, flexible and I need to admire their curiosity without letting them know how very lost I am in all of this.


Maybe it’s just acceptance… learning to accept that some things that you may not even realise, could be hurtful to others and just being able to move forward with whatever term brings about the greatest harmony.

Luckily for me when I Googled ‘Allen Key’, the alternative they gave me was a ‘Hex Key’! Thank goodness I was able to give my little boy an alternative name for it. If only everything in life was this easy and unoffensive…

What do you think of this popular trend to change names to become less offensive? Do you think there will come a day, where we can’t call white bread, white anymore? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • I refuse to not call my bread white, multigrain, brown etc. It’s nothing to do with skin colour. These are actual colours of the rainbow too!


  • This is getting out of hand that’s for sure, the bread is not Caucasian it’s the colour whitener hence the name


  • Please stop. This is getting ridiculous.


  • It will always be white bread in my house. We don’t eat it anyway. These name changes are getting really out of hand now!


  • I think all these name changes are abit silly and since this has started to happen when I say white or any colour anything I think the same thing that one day we won’t be aloud to say that the fact I even think about that I think is ridiculous people need to stop worrying about colours and worry about more important things


  • People over thinks too much.


  • Oh my really white bread what about Brown bread seriously crazy


  • we learn something every day. Didn’t know they were also called Hex keys.


  • An Allen key is a hex key because its hexagonal.
    White bread is white and ignoring colours because we can’t refer to people as being black, white and brown is more racist because you are now removing our differences.
    And explain to your child that certain products are being renamed because in the past people were horrible and used those names specifically to hurt people. THAT is why they are offensive.


  • I think half if it is just to provoke a reaction!


  • Some things are getting a bit out of hand.


  • Whoever thought of changing those names are just ridiculous. I never thought that black or white was offensive. It describes a colour perfectly. I was gobsmacked when I found out they’d changed the name of those shrubs from Black Boys (which I thought was perfect because they reminded me of a traditional aboriginal holding a spear and I loved it) to now calling them grass trees. Not only does it not describe the shrub properly, they also put the prices way up if you buy them from a nursery. What next?


  • Okay , so what colour is white if it isn’t white? Brown if it isn’t brown? Black if it cannot be refered to as black? Etc., Etc., ? Some people need to get out from behind their sheltered desks and get a real job, instead of thinking up ridiculous ideas !! Perhaps doing something ti help people instead of being a hindrance…read that as a pain in the behind !!


  • Nope, enough of this nonsense. So where does one stop, no more people with the surname White, Brown or Black. The poor people who have the surname Coon, have had so many issues, even all their bank accounts were frozen, because the word coon, had been put on the offensive list. It too them ages to get access to their own funds………..

    Enough of this. White bread is white, and brown bread is brown, brown sugar is brown. white milk is white, where does all this so called correctness end………it never will.

    Leave it alone.

    And add to this, children should not be being taught this nonsense either.


  • Enough is enough. Apparently the term gay is going to be too effective to say now. Even though Gay originally means HAPPY. But I have been thinking this too…. white bread, black coffee….. it needs to stop.


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