Ever wondered why it was called a swede?

On top of German, I am also working on reviving my Spanish. Yesterday I was working on a lesson about country names and nationalities and I came across the Spanish name for people from Sweden sueco/a. Not immediately recognizing this as the word for Swedish people, I looked it up with dict.cc’s Spanish-German site. When I typed the word sueco, it offered nabo sueco – literally “Swedish root vegetable,” but what is more commonly known in much of the English-speaking world as “swede” (for readers in the US, this vegetable is the rutabega and I am still in the dark about the origins of this latter name). Curiously (well as a non-botanist it seems curious to me), nabo gallego – literally “Galician root vegetable” – is “rapeseed” or what is called “canola” in North America. According to wisegeek.org: “The name of the plant derived from the Latin rapum, which means ‘turnip,’ and it has been used since the 14th century. In the other sense of the word, ‘rape’ is derived from rapere, ‘to take by force,’ and it dates to 1481.”

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