A “turnip-eater” was considered a stupid person; a “turnip-head” a peasant or a country bumpkin. And “turnip” itself ended up being slang because that a simpleton or a fool.

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Listener David indigenous Canada recently wrote in v a question. He want to know about the an interpretation and origin of the expression “to loss off the turnip truck.”David, we’ll begin with the basics. In case you’re not a fan of root vegetables, turnips space the one that look favor overgrown radishes. They’re cream-colored ~ above the outside and also pure white top top the inside. The part we most generally eat grows underground, and also it has broad green leaves that prosper aboveground. They have actually a bitter taste when raw and a quite bland taste when cooked.People believed of turnips as food that only negative people eat.
Turnips have actually long been eaten by humans. However for probably simply as long, they’ve been thought about a food the the poor. The ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes created of beggars who were for this reason impoverished that they ate not turnips—but the scrawny pipeline of turnips. In 16th-century England, turnips were grown in rotation v barley, clover, and wheat—and then fed come cows, pigs, and also sheep. (1,2)
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Perhaps since turnips to be considered perfect eating for barnyard animals, they pertained to be linked with dullness and stupidity. A “turnip-eater” was taken into consideration a stupid person; a “turnip-head” a peasant or a country bumpkin. And also “turnip” itself ended up being slang because that a simpleton or a fool. (3)We watch this use as beforehand as 1656, in a book of poems that refers to a “poor turnip-eating Clown.” We also see that in Charles Dickens's “Pickwick Papers,” published in 1836. His personality Sam Weller refers to himself as a “soft-headed, inkred’lous turnip.” (3)So, if dullards eat turnips, castle might also fall native turnip trucks, right? Thus, we view the usage that David mentions. You’ll most likely hear it claimed in the negative, together in, “I don’t think your lies. Carry out you think I dropped off a turnip truck?”This expression is more common in the southern United says than in the north. There’s a chain of grocery stores in Nashville, Tennessee, dubbed the Turnip Truck. “Southern Living” newspaper calls the expression a “quirky southerly saying.” There’s also a literary journal dubbed "The Turnip Truck(s)," founded by a group of writers who met at the college of Idaho.Why go they choose that name? Editor Tina Mitchell explains that it’s a expression her father, increased on a farm yard in rural southern Dakota, uses often. “He frequently reminds me that ‘he didn’t autumn off the turnip truck,’” she says. “The first time he claimed this, ns was more than likely 10 or 11. I asked the what the meant, to which the replied, ‘It basically means I wasn’t born yesterday.’” (4)To 'fall off the turnip truck' means to it is in naïve or gullible, choose a nation bumpkin.Two quick notes. This phrase is not pertained to the expression “to fall off the wagon,” which method to resume drink alcohol after having actually stopped. No one is it regarded the expression “to fall off a truck,” or the UK version “to autumn off the earlier of a lorry.” Both of these phrases express to an object that to be stolen or otherwise derived by questionable methods. (5)That’s your tidbit for today. To “fall off the turnip truck” means to be naïve or gullible, prefer a nation bumpkin.Bonus Tidbit 1: The expression “to provide a human turnips” method to jilt someone, or to get rid of him or she once and also for all. (6)Bonus Tidbit 2: If girlfriend really desire to walk crazy learning around turnips, inspect out the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED lists much more than 90 separation, personal, instance words and also phrases containing the word “turnip,” consisting of "turnip-heart," "turnip-ghost," "turnip-flea," and "turnipologist." (7)Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial. You can find her at dragonflyeditorial.com or top top Twitter at
DragonflyEdit.
Image courtesy of ShutterstockReferences(1) Flandrin , Jean-Louis, Massimo Montanari (Eds), Albert Sonnenfeld (translator). Food: A Culinary history from antiquity to the Present, p. 87. Columbia college Press, 1999.(2) Toussaint-Samat, Maguelonne, Anthea Bell (translator). A background of Food, p. 137. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.(3) Green, Jonathan. Turnip. Green’s dictionary of Slang, online edition, subscription required, accessed respectable 30, 2018(4) an individual correspondence, Samantha Enslen and also Tina Mitchell, august 30, 2018.(5) Dolgopolov, Yuri. Loss off a truck/fall turn off the turnip truck. A thesaurus of Confusable Phrases: more Than 10,000 Idioms and Collocations. McFarland & Company, 2010.(6) Barrère, Albert. Turnips. A thesaurus of Slang, jargon & Cant: Volume 1. The Ballantyne Press, 1890.(7) Oxford English Dictionary. Turnip. Digital edition, available by subscription, accessed august 30, 2018.

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Samantha Enslen is an award-winning writer that has worked in publishing for much more than 20 years. She runs Dragonfly Editorial, an agency that offers copywriting, editing, and design for scientific, medical, technical, and corporate materials. Sam is the vice chairman of ACES, The society for Editing, and also is the controlling editor that Tracking Changes, ACES' quarterly journal.