[roo-tuh-bey-guh, roo-tuh-bey-]
  1. a brassicaceous plant, Brassica napobrassica, having a yellow- or white-fleshed, edible tuber.
  2. the edible tuber, a variety of turnip.

Origin of rutabaga

1790–1800, Americanism; < Swedish (dial.) rotabagge
Also called Swedish turnip. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rutabaga

Contemporary Examples of rutabaga

  • Goodbye greens, goodbye peaches, and hello white: potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What to Eat

    September 15, 2009

Historical Examples of rutabaga

British Dictionary definitions for rutabaga


  1. US and Canadian a Eurasian plant, Brassica napus (or B. napobrassica), cultivated for its bulbous edible root, which is used as a vegetable and as cattle fodder: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
  2. the root of this plant
Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): swede

Word Origin for rutabaga

C18: from Swedish dialect rotabagge, literally: root bag
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rutabaga

1799, from Swedish dialectal (West Götland) rotabagge, from rot "root" (see root (n.)) + bagge "bag" (see bag (n.)). Slang meaning "dollar" is from 1940s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper