Welcome to the new and improved Rutabagan, sponsored by the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute in Forest Grove,
To get things started, here's our Letter of the Day:
C.J.: "My mother-in-law refers to rutabagas as "rutabagie" (or "rutabaggie," "rutabagy," or "rutabaggy"; I've never asked her to spell it). At first, this just made me bite my tongue and chuckle quietly inside at family gatherings. But after some research, making rutabaga plural by adding a "y" or "ie" ending seems to have come from northern
Thanks for your interesting query, C.J. The ultimate source on such etymological questions is the indefatigable Finnish rutascholar Hannu Ahok, who claims that the rutabaga resulted from the hybridization of turnips and cabbages by Finnish farmers. He states that Finnish immigrants "probably brought rutabagas to
Finnish immigrants to
Source: On the Evolution, Spread and Names of Rutabaga, by Hannu Ahokas, Interdisciplnary Biology, Agriculture, Linguistics and Antiquities 1:1-32 (2004).
[Please note that many ARSI rutabotanists are now convinced that the turnip and cabbage are hybridized variations of the rutabaga, rather than the reverse.]