Vernacular Spectacular #7: “beets” vs. “beetroot”

An odd thing here is that the place where the vegetable is less popular is the place that abbreviates the name. Australians put beetroot on pizza and hamburgers. In the US, you only see beets at restaurants that have many, many other vegetables on their menu or in old references to how kids should “eat their beets.” (And borscht, I suppose.)

“Beet” is a quirky little word, whose quirkiness is lost when the “root” is added. But “root” in Australia is another word for “sex” (“have a root), so they manage to make one of the most boring vegetables into something vaguely naughty.

Jeremy’s winner: Beets

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