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cabbage1

[kab-ij] /ˈkæb ɪdʒ/
noun
1.
any of several cultivated varieties of a plant, Brassica oleracea capitata, of the mustard family, having a short stem and leaves formed into a compact, edible head.
2.
the head or leaves of this plant, eaten cooked or raw.
3.
Slang. money, especially paper money.
4.
Chiefly British Informal.
  1. a stupid, dull, or spiritless person.
  2. a mentally impaired person who is unable to live independently; vegetable.
Origin
dialectal Old French
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English caboche, caboge, cabage head of cabbage < dialectal Old French (Picardy, Normandy) literally, head, noggin, equivalent to ca- formative in expressive words, of uncertain origin + boche; see boss2, botch2
Related forms
cabbagelike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cabbagelike

cabbage1

/ˈkæbɪdʒ/
noun
1.
Also called cole. any of various cultivated varieties of the plant Brassica oleracea capitata, typically having a short thick stalk and a large head of green or reddish edible leaves: family Brassicaceae (crucifers) See also brassica, savoy Compare skunk cabbage, Chinese cabbage
2.
wild cabbage, a European plant, Brassica oleracea, with broad leaves and a long spike of yellow flowers: the plant from which the cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprout have been bred
3.
  1. the head of a cabbage
  2. the edible leaf bud of the cabbage palm
4.
(informal) a dull or unimaginative person
5.
(informal, offensive) a person who has no mental faculties and is dependent on others for his or her subsistence
Word Origin
C14: from Norman French caboche head; perhaps related to Old French boce hump, bump, Latin caput head

cabbage2

/ˈkæbɪdʒ/
noun
1.
snippets of cloth appropriated by a tailor from a customer's material
verb
2.
to steal; pilfer
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Old French cabas theft
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cabbagelike

cabbage

n.

mid-15c., caboge, from Middle French caboche "head" (in dialect, "cabbage"), from Old French caboce "head," a diminutive from Latin caput "head" (see capitulum). Introduced to Canada 1541 by Jacques Cartier on his third voyage. First written record of it in U.S. is 1660s.

The decline of "ch" to "j" in the unaccented final syllable parallels the common pronunciation of spinach, sandwich, Greenwich, etc. The comparison of a head of cabbage to the head of a person (usually disparaging to the latter) is at least as old as Old French cabus "(head of) cabbage; nitwit, blockhead," from Italian cappuccio, diminutive of capo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cabbagelike

cabbage

noun

Money; lettuce: The salad boys in the back room, oiling up the cabbage. And it's big cabbage, too (1900+)

Related Terms

folding money, happy-cabbage


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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