Shrimp and prawn are important types of seafood that are consumed worldwide. In biological terms, shrimp and prawns belong to different suborders of Decapoda, however they are very similar in appearance and in commercial farming and fisheries, the terms are often used interchangeably. However, recent aquaculture literature increasingly uses the term "prawn" only for the freshwater forms of palaemonids and "shrimp" for the marine penaeids.
In the United Kingdom, the word "prawn" is more common on menus than "shrimp"; while the opposite is the case in North America. The term "prawn" is also loosely used to describe any large shrimp, especially those that come 15 (or fewer) to the pound (such as "king prawns", yet sometimes known as "jumbo shrimp"). Australia and some other Commonwealth nations follow this British usage to an even greater extent, using the word "prawn" almost exclusively. When Australian comedian Paul Hogan used the phrase, "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you" in an American television advertisement, it was intended to make what he was saying easier for his American audience to understand, and was thus a deliberate distortion of what an Australian would typically say. In Britain very small crustaceans with a brownish shell are called shrimp, and are used to make potted shrimps. They are also used in dishes where they are not the primary ingredient.