Word for Wednesday: Potato

blog home

Our Word for Wednesday theme for November is vegetables.

vegetable is a plant or part of a plant that is used for food. The word dates to the mid-fifteenth century when it meant 'non-animal life’ and was used to describe any type of plant. It has been used in reference to plants specifically grown for food since 1767.

Last week we looked at the word cabbage and this week’s word is potato.
A potato is a root vegetable native to South America with starchy edible tubers and poisonous vines. It is widely cultivated as a garden vegetable. 

The word entered English in the 1560s and was used to describe the vegetable we call sweet potato today. Sweet potatoes were the first type of potato to be introduced to Europe and by the mid-sixteenth century were being cultivated in Spain. In the 1590s the word potato began being used to describe the common white potato as well. 

Potato comes from the Spanish ‘patata’, a variant of the Taino ‘batata’. The shortening of ‘potato’ to ‘tater’ was used in print as far back as 1759. The phrase ‘to drop something like a hot potato’ dates to 1824. 

11 Nov 2020
blog home

"I have just subscribed and look forward to continuing to use Spellzone. I have been really impressed with the program during the trial period and the students gave very positive feedback. Many thanks."

Teacher, International School, Geneva