[14] The Romans called the ‘parsnip’ (and the ‘carrot’) pastināca. This was a derivative of pastinum, a term for a sort of small two-pronged fork, inspired no doubt by the forked appearance of some examples of the vegetable. In Old French the word had become pasnaie, but when English took it over, it altered the final syllable to -nep, under the influence of Middle English nep ‘turnip’ (source of the second syllable of turnip).

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Parsnip — Pars nip (p[aum]rs n[i^]p), n. [OE. parsnepe, from a French form, fr. L. pastinaca; cf. pastinare to dig up, pastinum a kind of dibble; cf. OF. pastenade, pastenaque.] (Bot.) The aromatic and edible spindle shaped root of the cultivated form of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parsnip — (n.) 16c., parsnepe, corruption (by influence of Middle English nepe turnip ) of M.E. passenep (late 14c.), from O.Fr. pasnaie, from L. pastinaca parsnip, carrot, from pastinum two pronged fork (related to pastinare to dig up the ground ) so… …   Etymology dictionary

  • parsnip — ► NOUN ▪ the long tapering cream coloured root of a plant of the parsley family, eaten as a vegetable. ORIGIN Old French pasnaie, from Latin pastinaca; the change in ending was influenced by NEEP(Cf. ↑N) …   English terms dictionary

  • parsnip — [pärs′nip΄] n. [ME pasnepe, altered (infl. by nepe, turnip) < OFr pasnaie < L pastinaca < pastinare, to dig up < pastinum, two forked dibble] 1. a biennial plant (Pastinaca sativa) of the umbel family, with yellow flowers and a long,… …   English World dictionary

  • Parsnip — Taxobox name = Parsnip image width = 250px image caption = A selection of parsnips regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Apiales familia = Apiaceae genus = Pastinaca species = P. sativa binomial = Pastinaca… …   Wikipedia

  • parsnip — /pahr snip/, n. 1. a plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated varieties of which have a large, whitish, edible root. 2. the root of this plant. [1350 1400; earlier pars(e)nep, pass(e)nep, ME pas(t)nep(e) < L past(inaca) parsnip ( …   Universalium

  • parsnip — UK [ˈpɑː(r)snɪp] / US [ˈpɑrsnɪp] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms parsnip : singular parsnip plural parsnips a long white hard vegetable that grows under the ground …   English dictionary

  • parsnip — noun a) A biennial plant, Pastinaca sativa, related to the carrot. b) The root of the parsnip, when used as a vegetable …   Wiktionary

  • parsnip — pars|nip [ parsnıp ] noun count or uncount a long white hard vegetable that grows under the ground …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • parsnip — [[t]pɑ͟ː(r)snɪp[/t]] parsnips N COUNT A parsnip is a long cream coloured root vegetable …   English dictionary

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