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

  • n. An eastern Asian plant (Sium sisarum) having a cluster of tuberous, sweetish, edible roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An umbelliferous plant (Sium or Pimpinella sisarum), cultivated for its sweet edible tuberous roots.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An umbelliferous plant (Sium Sisarum syn. Pimpinella Sisarum). It is a native of Asia, but has been long cultivated in Europe for its edible clustered tuberous roots, which are very sweet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A species of waterparsnip, Sium Sisarum, generally said to be of Chinese origin, long cultivated in Europe for its esculent root.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an Asiatic herb cultivated in Europe for its sweet edible tuberous root


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

Middle English skirwhit, alteration (influenced by skir, pure, bright and white, white) of Old French eschervi, probably from Arabic karawyā, caraway, from Greek karō.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A corrupted form equivalent to sugarwort.


  • On the other hand, there was a kind of parsnip called skirret that did die out entirely because people stopped cultivating it, and a type of small onion, and a certain breed of English peas—


  • Garnish it with orange peel boil'd in strong broth, and some French beans boil'd, and put in thick butter, or some skirret, cardones, artichocks, slic't lemon, mace, or orange.

    The accomplisht cook or, The art & mystery of cookery

  • It was made of barley; certain herbs, such as lupine and skirret, were used as substitutes for hops.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • Vegetables count cole, collard, kale, all ` cabbage 'and preserved in kailyard ` cabbage garden,' symbolic of Scotland's literature since 1895 as in "the kailyard school"; rutabaga ` turnip, 'literally, ` root-bag'; and skirret ` parsnip, 'literally, ` sheer-white.'

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XI No 3


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  • Would ye like to meet A.K.A. Crummock?

    He's a root that's so fine in yer stomach.

    As for some supposition

    He's a Tas politician...

    Sorry to have left y'all flummoxed.

    August 19, 2014

  • At first I thought that A. K. A. Crummock must be a Tasmanian politician who leads a second life as Mr. Skirret. It now looks like that is not true, but it should be and somebody should write that novel.

    bilby has a talent for planting words that lead to other delights. Thus skirret leads to umbelliferous, and then to umbel, and on to peduncle and crummie. Botanists must distill elevating libations from their specimens before they sit down to make these words up. Umbelliferous is wonderful. It has a boring botanical meaning but to me it suggests something orgasmic. It all makes me want to head off to the arboretum and try to engage a stranger in conversation.

    August 19, 2014

  • A.k.a. crummock.

    August 19, 2014

  • "Familiar smells drifted in the air: fennel, skirrets and alexanders, then wild garlic, radishes and broom."

    John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk, p 85

    November 10, 2012