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sauerkraut

[souuh r-krout, sou-er-]
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noun
  1. cabbage cut fine, salted, and allowed to ferment until sour.
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Origin of sauerkraut

1610–20; < German, equivalent to sauer sour + Kraut greens
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sauerkraut

sauerkraut

noun
  1. finely shredded and pickled cabbage
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Word Origin

German, from sauer sour + Kraut cabbage
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 sauerkraut

n.

1630s, from German Sauerkraut, literally "sour cabbage," from sauer "sour" (from Proto-Germanic *sura-; see sour (adj.)) + Kraut "vegetable, cabbage," from Old High German krut, from Proto-Germanic *kruthan.

They pickle it [cabbage] up in all high Germany, with salt and barberies, and so keepe it all the yeere, being commonly the first dish you have served in at table, which they call their sawerkrant. [James Hart, "Klinike, or the diet of the diseased," 1633]

In U.S. slang, figurative use for "a German" dates from 1858 (cf. kraut). "The effort to substitute liberty-cabbage for sauerkraut, made by professional patriots in 1918, was a complete failure." [Mencken]. French choucroute (19c.) is from Alsatian German surkrut (corresponding to German Sauerkraut), with folk etymology alteration based on chou "cabbage" + croûte "crust" (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper