SWEDEN-L Archives

Archiver > SWEDEN > 2000-12 > 0977082558

From: "Dr Fredrik Haeffner" <>
Subject: [Sweden] rutabagas and rotabagge
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 20:49:18 +0100


Jody, Thanks ! You gave me just the hint I needed.

I have researched this word and vegetable further and here is some of what I
found (should anyone be interested)

"Rutabaga" is used not only by the Americans but also the French.
The word in Swedish is "rotabagge" or "rotbagge"

The origin (according to several, reliable sources, among those The
Dictionary of the Royal Swedish Academy, SAOB)
is "rot" meaning root - that was the simple part :-)
which in Swedish has at least 6 different meanings.
The meaning used in "rotbagge" is dialectal (known from province
Västergötland) equal to "klump" or "knöl" (in English "lump" or botanical
"bulb", "tuber")

There is another meaning of the word "bagge', also from western Swedish
dialects (Västergötland) is same as "Norwegian" used both of people -
"Norrbagge" = a Norwegian and of for example a Norwegian horse type.
This word is known at least since the 16th century and still today.
The funny connection here is that "knöl" (Eng bulb) in Swedish also means a
nasty person. You probably know about the eternal love-hate relationship
between Swedes and Norwegians. We tell the same "nasty" stories about each
other but it is all in good humor.

The vegetable is known to be grown in Great Britain in the 18th century but
exported to France from Sweden (quite possibly from Västergötland) much

This was not very much about genealogy but I thought it might add some
knowledge to your next dinner with "fläsklägg och rotmos" (pork leg with
mashed rutabaga. Please note that I have very carefully avoided the
expression "mashed swede" witch would be correct language but put myself in
serious jeopardy of being crushed.

Do check out the brand new SwedenGenWeb site "SweGGate" - address below. I
hope it will help your emigration research. If not - please ask for more
info !

Bon appetit,


Dr Fredrik Haeffner
SwedenGenWeb Country Coordinator
SweGGate web site: http://www.rootsweb.com/~swewgw/
Private E-mail:

This thread: