potato 1560s, from Sp. patata, from Carib (Haiti) batata "sweet potato." Sweet potatoes were first to be introduced to Europe; in cultivation in Spain by mid-16c.; in Virginia by 1648. Early 16c. Portuguese traders carried the crop to all their shipping ports and the sweet potato was quickly adopted from Africa to India and Java. The name later (1590s) was extended to the common white potato, from Peru, which was at first (mistakenly) called Virginia potato, or, because at first it was of minor importance compared to the sweet potato, bastard potato. Spanish invaders in Peru began to use white potatoes as cheap food for sailors 1530s. The first potato from South America reached Pope Paul III in 1540; grown in France at first as an ornamental plant. According to popular tradition, introduced to Ireland 1565 by John Hawkins. Brought to England from Colombia by Sir Thomas Herriot, 1586.
Ger. kartoffel (17c.) is a dissimilation from tartoffel, ultimately from It. tartufolo (V.L. *territuberem), originally "truffle." Frederick II forced its cultivation on Prussian peasants in 1743. The French is pomme de terre, lit. "earth-apple;" a Swedish dialectal word for "potato" is jordpäron, lit. "earth-pear." Colloquial pronunciation tater is attested in print from 1759. To drop (something) like a hot potato is from 1846. Children's counting-out rhyme that begins one potato, two potato first recorded 1885 in Canada.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Potato — Po*ta to, n.; pl. {Potatoes}. [Sp. patata potato, batata sweet potato, from the native American name (probably batata) in Hayti.] (Bot.) (a) A plant ({Solanum tuberosum}) of the Nightshade family, and its esculent farinaceous tuber, of which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Potato 5 — a été l un des plus importants groupes de ska anglais des années 1980. Ils se sont séparés en 1989 après six ans de carrière et l enregistrement de trois albums. Biographie Potato 5 se forme en Angleterre en 1983, alors que la vague de ska Two… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • potato — [pə tāt′ō, pətāt′ə] n. pl. potatoes [Sp patata, var. of batata, sweet potato < Taino name] 1. short for SWEET POTATO 2. a) the starchy, brown skinned or red skinned tuber of a widely cultivated plant (Solanum tuberosum) of the nightshade… …   English World dictionary

  • potato — ► NOUN ▪ a starchy plant tuber which is cooked and eaten as a vegetable. ORIGIN Spanish patata sweet potato , from Taino (an extinct Caribbean language) …   English terms dictionary

  • potato — has the plural form potatoes …   Modern English usage

  • Potato — Irish potato redirects here. For the confectionery, see Irish potato candy. For other uses, see Potato (disambiguation). Potato …   Wikipedia

  • potato — /peuh tay toh, teuh/, n., pl. potatoes. 1. Also called Irish potato, white potato. the edible tuber of a cultivated plant, Solanum tuberosum, of the nightshade family. 2. the plant itself. 3. See sweet potato (defs. 1, 2). [1545 55; < Sp patata… …   Universalium

  • potato — [16] Potato was originally the English name for the ‘sweet potato’ (when Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor 1598 cried ‘Let the sky rain potatoes!’ it was to the sweet potato, and its supposed aphrodisiac properties, that he was… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • potato — po•ta•to [[t]pəˈteɪ toʊ, tə[/t]] n. pl. toes 1) pln Also called Irish potato,white potato the edible tuber of a cultivated plant, Solanum tuberosum of the nightshade family. 2) pln the plant itself 3) pln sweet potato 1), sweet potato 2) •… …   From formal English to slang

  • potato — I. /pəˈteɪtoʊ / (say puh taytoh) noun (plural potatoes) 1. the edible tuber (white potato or Irish potato) of a cultivated plant, Solanum tuberosum. 2. the plant itself. {Spanish patata white potato, variant of batata sweet potato, from Haitian}… …  

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