March 17, 2012
cabbage (noun)
\KAB-ij\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a garden plant related to the turnips and mustards that has a round firm head of leaves used as a vegetable
How do you use it?
"Aunt Sponge was enormously fat and very short. She had small piggy eyes, a sunken mouth, and one of those white flabby faces that looked exactly as though it had been boiled. She was like a great white soggy overboiled cabbage." (Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach)
Are you a word wiz?

Since it's St. Patrick's Day, you might be having corned beef and cabbage for dinner. But the word "cabbage" doesn't come from Irish, it comes from Old French. What do you think the Old French word that gave us "cabbage" meant?

You're using your head if you picked A. "Cabbage" comes from the Old French word "caboce," which was used informally to mean "head," in much the same way that "noggin" is used in English. In certain French dialects, "caboce" was spelled "caboche," a spelling which spread to the region around Paris. Although it continued to be limited to informal use in French, "caboche" found its way into Middle English in the sense "head of cabbage." "Caboche" finally developed into "cabbage," and has become the everyday English word for the vegetable that the French call "chou."
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