Mapping crop names

A tweet by James Wong a couple of days ago, that reproduced a map from a paper from a few years back showing the spread of the words for sweet potato around the world

had me searching the dark recesses of my brain, and the interwebs, for similar maps. Recently there was one for tea, for example.

Any others? A Reddit post turned up coffee (as well as honey and sugar).

Banana was harder to find.

Any more out there?

3 Replies to “Mapping crop names”

  1. Thought provoking. Got me thinking about crops with two centers of origin and domestication. Arachis hirsutum from Mexico diffused to the francophone world as cacahuete from nahuatl cacahuete. The south American domestication of Arachis is known as manì in south America and other Hispanic speaking countries. Afro-American Southern dialect borrowed Congolese word for groundnut (Vigna subterranea ) nguba or djinguba to the often used term goober or goober peas to refer to the new world ground nut. Moroccan Arabic refers to Arachis as “Lus” in reference to its introction from Hand-al-lus in southern Spain, andalucia. Lusophone creoles of the upper guinea coast and cape verde refer to it as “mancarra” while in portuese it is called “amendoim” or little almond which it is not but plant names are often based on linguistic facility. The there is “pinda’ in Dutch who developed a love for pinda sauce and pinda kaas from their long cultural apprenticeship in Indonesia. If time allows I might try mapping these and other crops with two named domestication like Camote. Kumara and Batata for Ipomea batata. Luigi as Napolitano have you ever wondered why your compatriots refer to maize meal as grano turco. The answer lies in Andalusia. M’escusa per cueste messaggio cosí lungo.

  2. I work on Root & Tuber Crops Research in Fiji and these are some very interesting facts about tracing where do these names comes from e.g. Sweet Potato and how it name has spread especially in the Pacific

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