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By Julia Palmer

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Publiburned 9:25 am Thursday, July 27, 2017


Several vegetables widespread to our gardens come from the Latin word for cabbage “caulis.” Thunstable a collection of phonetic changes this Latin word came right into Old English as cal and also later on came to be cole.

The leafy green plant recognized as kale is a phonetic variant of this Middle English word cole definition cabbage while collard is a variation of colewort. Wort is a Center English word for plant or root, from Old English wyrt.

Colewort, definition literally “cabbage plant,” was shortened to col’ort and later on came to be collard. Our word for cabbage originates from Middle English caboche obtained from Old French caboce. In contemporary French “mon petite chou,” literally “my bit cabbage,” is a term of endearment.


In English, a cabbage patch is a location or thing of no prestige, while cabbage head is a stupid person. In some dialects of American English cabbage night or cabbage stump night is the night prior to Halloween as soon as civilization play pranks such as throwing cabbages on porches.

Several of our more widespread vegetable names come from Italian. Cauliflower is from Italian cavolo fiore, literally “cabbage freduced.”

Broccoli, additionally from Italian, is the plural of broccoli, a grew create of cabbage, which in its beginning was a much more hearty form of cauliflower. Zucchini is the Italian plural form of zucchino, a diminutive of the word zucca “gourd.” This name first showed up in created English in 1929 spelled succhini.


Artichoke additionally made its way into English from Italian but only after it had passed from Arabic into Spanish. Arabic al-karsufa became Spanish alcachofa, which consequently came to be Italian articiocco, which was then borrowed right into English as artichoke.

In the 1sixth and 17th centuries the English word turnepe designated the vegetable we know now as the turnip. This word was originally borrowed from Latin napus into Old English as noep. At some point English speakers added the word “turn” to the name, probably in reference to the form of the vegetable, developing the word that is familiar to us this day.

Onion comes from Latin unio interpretation “a single huge pearl,” although in rustic or non-conventional Latin unio was likewise supplied refer to an onion. Unio passed into Old French as oignon which then went into Middle English as oinyon, a not as well remote create of the word we usage this day. In late 18th century English messages, it is not unwidespread to find the variant form inions, representing a stigmatized pronunciation. Also from Latin is radish from the Latin word radix definition “root.” Lettuce came into English by means of Old French laitue, whose speakers had actually borrowed the word from Latin lactuca. If you watch a similarity to the Latin word for “milk” you are ideal. The Latin word made referral to the milky juice of plant. In Old French the plural form letues came into English as lettuce. At one allude in English “lettuce” was slang for money.

Swiss chard, additionally recognized as silver beets or perpetual spinach, takes part of its name from Latin. Ctough is a variant pronunciation of a word deriving from Latin carperform “thistle.”




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It is not surpincreasing that many type of vegetable names have actually come into English from aboriginal langueras by means of colonization. Squash is from the Native American language Narragansett. Their word for the vegetable, asquuta, was obtained right into English as squash and also initially appears in print in 1643. It is amazing to note that English currently had actually the verb squash interpretation “to flatten,” originally from Latin ex-quassare. It is certainly feasible that the first borrowing influenced the phonetic create of the second borrowing. The English word potato is originally from the Taino word for “sweet potato,” batata. By 1526, Spanish had actually borrowed this word as patata, “potato,” preserving the word batata for “sweet potato.” English then borrowed the Spanish patata as potato.

Tomato is originally from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. The Spanish conquistadores heard Nahuatl jitomatl and borrowed it as tomate, which was then borrowed into English as tomato. While tomatoes became popular about the Mediterranean after they were presented to Spain, they were not grew in England also till the 1590s bereason they were thought to be poisonous. This perception preserved them from being grown in the U.S. till the mid 1700s. Before they were well-known in the gardens of English speakers, they were recognized as “love apples.” The Italian word for tomato is pomo d’oro, literally “apple of gold” as the first varieties brought to Europe were golden in color. Botanically the tomato is a fruit, however the question stays in popular culture, is the tomato a fruit or is it a vegetable? The answer depends on where you live. The tomato is the state vegetable of New Jersey but it is the main fruit of Ohio.

Julia Palmer is an associate professor of modern languperiods at Hampden-Sydney College. Her email deal with is jpalmer
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