June 10, 2023

A Vegetable So Bad Nobody Wants To Name It

I was sitting at dinner the other night with some of the board members and investors of worldlingo when we started talking about some of my translation sites like translatebritish.com that translates British to American.

Naturally, we started talking about word differences between cultures. You know, often confused things like lift vs elevator, pavement vs sidewalk, and the like.

It just so happened that we had people at the table from Germany, Australia, the US, and England. We were also eating Mahi Mahi that was served with a side of zucchini. When nobody ate (and most of us didn’t even recognize) their zucchini, we started talking about what it’s called in different places.

It seems that zucchini is hated among all cultures – so much so that they can’t be bothered to come up with their own word for it. Our American word is a derivative of the Itallian zucchine. The Germans seem to have also adopted the word zucchini.

The French didn’t even bother naming the edible part, and simply call it by the plant’s name: courgettes. The British couldn’t be bothered to name it either, and settled on courgette as well. It’s also the same in Holland.

The Spanish must actually like the green vegetable, as they’re one of the only languages that has it’s own word: calabacín. The same can’t be said for Portuguese though, who also borrowed the American zucchini.

I’m often amused by the language differences among cultures, but I thought this case was extremely amusing. Maybe it was a product of the wine.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com


  1. you can use zucchini has many uses when it can be used to replace something else and take the flavor of that as my sister is allergic to Apples my mom can make Zucchini that is bottled and taste just like apples as well as carrot cake and many many uses

  2. i never thought or heard that courgette was hated so much. There are many uses but i think one of the most popular in Britain is in stir frys and similar dishes.