One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Chinese leaf of a variety which resembles lettuce.
- ‘A member of the brassica family, this cabbage is also known as Napa, celery cabbage, pe-tsai, hakusai, wong bok, and Peking cabbage.’
- ‘The pe-tsai of the Chinese is an annual, apparently intermediate between cabbage and the turnip but with much thinner leaves than the former.’
Late 18th century: from Chinese ( Cantonese dialect) báicài, literally ‘white vegetable’.
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