Kolache (1896), but reverting to Kohlrabi

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Dec 11 12:50:56 UTC 2002

In the early 1980's, just up the road from Ann  Arbor, there was
(is?) a Kohlrabi festival (unabashedly German). There were kohlrabi's
dressed up in costumes, a biggest kohlrabi contest, and, my favorite,
an ugliest kohlrabi contest. One bright afternoon my wife and I went,
and I entered the kohrabi tossing contest (distance not accuracy). To
my surprise, I was in the lead for a long time and was promised a
prize (except I had to wait around to see if I was outstripped). Many
polkas, beers, and bowls of fresh kohlrabi slices and dill dip later,
I saw, to my horror, a team of worthies whose physical makeup bespoke
more of years of hard outdoor work than my putrid ex-athletic,
office-bound frame could contest with. Burping and cursing, we went
home empty-handed, and I have since eschewed the vegetable, in spite
of fond memories of it from my childhood, when my Hungarian
grandfather would slice fresh chunks of it for me from his garden.


PS: Kohlrabi was also borrowed into Hungarian as the word for this
delicacy, at least the Hungarian I learned as a child.

>If you want to get technical, Kohlrabi is actually German, not English (not
>"derived from German").
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Steve Kl." <stevekl at PANIX.COM>
>Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 1:59 PM
>Subject: Re: Re:       Re: Kolache (1896)
>>  pupek = navel
>>  pupicek = belly-button
>>  We ate kohlrabi, too, but the word's not Czech. The Czech word for
>>  kohlrabi is kedluben. Kohlrabi is English, and it's dervied from German.
>>  -- Steve Kl.

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic,
      Asian & African Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
e-mail: preston at msu.edu
phone: (517) 353-9290

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