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culinary herb, Old English læc (Mercian), leac (West Saxon) "leek, onion, garlic," from Proto-Germanic *lauka- (cf. Old Norse laukr "leek, garlic," Danish løg, Swedish lök "onion," Old Saxon lok "leek," Middle Dutch looc, Dutch look "leek, garlic," Old High German louh, German Lauch "leek"). No known cognates; Finnish laukka, Russian luk-, Old Church Slavonic luku are borrowed from Germanic.
(Heb. hatsir; the Allium porrum), rendered "grass" in 1 Kings 18:5, 2 Kings 19:26, Job 40:15, etc.; "herb" in Job 8:12; "hay" in Prov. 27:25, and Isa. 15:6; "leeks" only in Num. 11:5. This Hebrew word seems to denote in this last passage simply herbs, such as lettuce or savoury herbs cooked as kitchen vegetables, and not necessarily what are now called leeks. The leek was a favourite vegetable in Egypt, and is still largely cultivated there and in Palestine.