Friday 1 February 2013

Knowing Your Onions

Just a link today to this article on all of the European words for onion, which I got from Etymonline's facebook page. Or, if you only want the map, here it is. Click to embiggen.


  1. Here are two other etymological maps:
    Know your sheep: A sheep is a sheep is a sheep
    and something else:Honorable root, dishonorable word
    Both from The Third Chimpanzee (Jared Diamond)

  2. I wonder why they missed out Greece, Albania (qepë) and Turkey (soğan).

    Kremmudi in Greek is obviously related to the Macedonian kromid they have and comes from the ancient Greek for small onion, krommudion. A big onion was krommuon. Interesting that many of the modern words from the Latin cepa are also from diminutives.

  3. The English steal everybody's words, so I thought we must have some from cepa. Looks likely that leeks are like luks, as is the garleek. Chive is from cepa (or caepa). Chibol is an English name for the Welsh onion or a spring onion with the green stalk still on, as they are usually sold nowadays.

    I was mistaken in assuming that caepuila or caepulla were diminutives. Apparently they mean onion-bed.

  4. I'm just grateful for "embiggen"!

  5. I wonder where the Welsh 'cennyn', meaning leek, comes from?

  6. Thanks for the repost! Here's the updated link (the GeoCurrents link no longer works):