Fritter is a word I almost never use, unless it is about time that I have wasted, as in "you have frittered your life away." Maybe that sort of fritter is spelled differently. I really don't know.
OK. So maybe after reading the writeup above by Webster 1913 I do know.
If my wife sets off to the store, asking as she departs, if I want anything brought back, I might casually mention that I would not mind if she brought me a cow pie. It has never failed that the object she returns with is eatable, and more gastronomically pleasing, than an actual cow pie. What is more, I have been calling these things cow pies for as long as I can remember, and have yet to have anyone misunderstand. At least, not in a meaningful way. Now that I think about it. Not even in a non-meaningful way.
I live in Tucson, Arizona, and have for the past 40 years. Thing is, out here in the southwest we cannot picture John Wayne saying, "gimmie one of them fritters." We can, however, picture him with, "Say pilgrim, how about you giving me one of them cowpies."
I suppose the important thing here is context. The conversation is usually already directed toward foodstuff, and typically to some sort of treat. Possibly even the generic idea of doughnut has already occurred in the conversation. The only question I have ever been confronted with after the mention of a cow pie in this context is, "apple or blueberry?" Such a response is a clear indication that there has not been a failure to communicate. So, how about a cow pie?
For alternate views on Cow pie, Please see here
as offered by DonJaime
, or here
as offered by Oolong
, AKA Oolong