from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A plant (Brassica napus var. napobrassica) in the mustard family, having a thick bulbous yellowish root used as a vegetable.
  • noun The edible root of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun North America the swede, or Swedish turnip; the European plant Brassica napus
  • noun North America the edible root of this plant


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Swedish dialectal rotabagge : rot, root (from Old Norse rōt; see wrād- in Indo-European roots) + bagge, bag (from Old Norse baggi).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1799, from Swedish rotabagge, a dialectal word from Västergötland, from rot (“root”) +‎ bagge (“bag”).


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  • Known in the UK as a swede. I finally made the connection just the other day after five years of vainly trying to convey the concept to bewildered Canadians.


    March 17, 2009

  • Every rutabaga is a swede. But not every Swede is a rutabaga, regardless of the level of docility.

    See ballistic root vegetables.

    March 17, 2009

  • Wow, really? That's wild - I am Canadian and I've never heard it referred to as a 'swede' either.

    March 17, 2009

  • I'm confused. Why is it a swede? What connection, yarb? *feels very dense*

    *realizes it must be that McGangbang*

    March 17, 2009

  • Reminds me of that infamous sports headline after the English football team lost to Sweden in a game they were favoured to win. Sweden played well of course but the English were a shambles. As the defeat eliminated England from the 1992 European Championship, the press were bristling:

    Swedes 2, Turnips 1.

    March 17, 2009

  • And it went downhill from there. Yanks 2, Planks 0 if I remember rightly.

    They're swedes in NZ too, by the way.

    July 23, 2009

  • God, I could murder a good swede right now. *rubs tummy*

    July 23, 2009

  • My dog's name (collie-poodle) - coldle or poolie- in the 1970s. we called him Rudy

    August 24, 2011