parsnips

parsnip

[pahr-snip]
noun
1.
a plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated varieties of which have a large, whitish, edible root.
2.
the root of this plant.

Origin:
1350–1400; earlier pars(e)nep, pass(e)nep, Middle English pas(t)nep(e) < Latin past(ināca) parsnip (derivative of pastinum forked dibble) + Middle English nep turnip; see neep

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parsnip (ˈpɑːsnɪp)
 
n
1.  a strong-scented umbelliferous plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated for its long whitish root
2.  the root of this plant, eaten as a vegetable
3.  any of several similar plants, esp the cow parsnip
 
[C14: from Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastināca, from pastināre to dig, from pastinum two-pronged tool for digging; also influenced by Middle English nepeturnip]

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Word Origin & History

parsnip
16c., parsnepe, corruption (by influence of M.E. nepe "turnip") of M.E. passenep (late 14c.), from O.Fr. pasnaie, from L. pastinaca "parsnip, carrot," from pastinum "two-pronged fork" (related to pastinare "to dig up the ground") so called from the shape of the root. The parsnip was considered a kind
of turnip.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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