Reply to comment about "Food for thought: Exploring the origins of culinary terms"


Please consult the “Comments and interaction” section on the Terms and conditions page before adding your comment. The Language Portal of Canada reviews comments before they’re posted. We reserve the right to edit, refuse or remove any question or comment that violates these commenting guidelines.

By submitting a comment, you permanently waive your moral rights, which means that you give the Government of Canada permission to use, reproduce, edit and share your comment royalty-free, in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. You also confirm that nothing in your comment infringes third party rights (for example, the use of a text from a third party without his or her permission).

Thanks for your comment!

You’re right that the origins of the word “avocado” are not Spanish. Our post lists the languages from which English has *borrowed* food terms, and those languages may not necessarily be the language from which the word originated.

Let’s take your example of the word “avocado.” Spanish borrowed it from an Indigenous language of Mexico in the 16th century. But English did not borrow it from that language: it came into English from Spanish in the 17th century. So Spanish is the language listed accurately as the source of our borrowed word.

We’ve made some changes to the post to make it clear that we’re referring to the languages from which English has *borrowed* words, not necessarily the language from which the word *originated.*

While there seems to be some debate about the origins of the word “mayonnaise,” one side of the debate does suggest that the condiment is named after the Port of Mahon on the island of Minorca. However, English borrowed the word from French.