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Dictionaries are all kinds of good, clean fun. From http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?resource=Webster%27s&word=potat..., potato:

In 1913, "Potato (?), n.; pl. Potatoes (#). [Sp. patata potato, batata sweet potato, from the native American name (probably batata) in Hayti.] (Bot.) (a) A plant (Solanum tuberosum) of the Nightshade family, and its esculent farinaceous tuber, of which there are numerous varieties used for food...."

In 1828, "POTATO, n. A plant and esculent root of the genus Solanum, a native of America. The root of this plant, which is usually called potatoe, constitutes one of the cheapest and most nourishing species of vegetable food; it is the principal food of the poor in some countries, and has often contributed to prevent famine. It was introduced into the British dominions by Sir Walter Raleigh or other adventurers in the 16th century; but is came slowly into use, and at this day is not much cultivated and used in some countries of Europe. In the British dominions and in the United States, it has proved one of the greatest blessings bestowed on man by the Creator."

...which may go a certain distance towards explaining why the modern default dictionaries are not Webster's.

This message brought to you by the word "esculent", because it's lunch time.




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