What’s a courgette ?

There’s a long green versatile vegetable that the English call a courgette and almost everyone else calls a zucchini. If you do search for the two terms using google’s ngram viwer you can see that no one talked about them much until the sixties:

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 15.29.39

and that courgette is very much a British thing:

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 15.29.00

In Australia we mostly say zucchini, probably as a result of the large number of Italian migrants from the fifties onwards. Unfortunately there’s no convenient dataset that goes all the way to the naughties but using querypic to look at the Trove digitized newspaper data from the early nineteenth century to the fifties we seem always to a have preferred zucchini to courgette:

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 15.33.45

and while it’s not at all significant because of the small sample the Kiwi’s, (until the late forties at least) tended to follow English usage

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 15.38.06

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About dgm

IT professional, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical and medieval historian ...
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