Definition of colcannon in US English:



  • An Irish and Scottish dish of cabbage and potatoes boiled and pounded.

    • ‘I like places where you can dine on things like Arbroath smokies with eggs and colcannon [mashed potato with cabbage].’
    • ‘Afterwards the guests were treated to traditional bacon, cabbage and colcannon while All Ireland Champion accordionist Teddy Barry played traditional Irish and Scottish airs.’
    • ‘The side dishes of potato dauphinois and colcannon went down a treat, although I always feel cheated when I have to pay extra for some much-needed vegetables to accompany a £22 main course.’
    • ‘A dish called colcannon, made from cabbage, potatoes, and milk, was traditionally served on Halloween with a ring, coin, thimble, and button inserted into it.’
    • ‘You get everything from sauté potatoes to colcannon, which is an Irish potato dish, but absolutely no chips.’


Late 18th century: from cole; the origin of the second element is uncertain but it is said that cannonballs were used to mash such vegetables as spinach.