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Turnip can refer to three vegetables, which are described under the articles Turnip, Rutabaga, and Jicama. The confusion results from the following regional differences of usage.

Scientific term Brassica rapa rapa Brassica napus or B. napobrassica Pachyrhizus
Southern England, most Commonwealth countries turnip swede (= Swedish turnip) yam bean
Ireland and parts of Northern England swede or white turnip turnip or yellow turnip  
Cornwall white turnip turnip  
Scotland Milan turnip or white turnip turnip or neep  
United States turnip rutabaga or yellow turnip jicama
Atlantic Canada   turnip jicama
Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines     turnip
also called white turnip or summer turnip yellow turnip or winter turnip sweet turnip

Brassica napus and B. napobrassica are called swedes (a shortening of Swedish turnip) in England, especially in the South, and in most dialects of the Commonwealth. Rutabaga is mostly an American word. The rutabaga or swede differs from the turnip (Brassica rapa) in that it is typically larger and yellow-orange rather than white.

However, in some dialects of British English the two vegetables have overlapping or reversed names. In the north of England and Scotland, the larger, yellow rutabagas are called neeps or turnips from folk etymology, while the smaller white turnips are called swedes.

Other vegetables

Kohlrabi is also called German turnip, turnip cabbage or cabbage turnip[1], although there the stem, not the root is the enlarged part.

Other uses

Turnip also refers to a character from Chrono Cross who is actually very similar to a vegetable.


  1. ^ accessed 24-May-2009 12:40 PM CEST


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