I’d like to resolve a mystery over the etymology of the term used by Taiwanese for cabbage: 高麗菜
You can get more background by reading this post on my site: princeroy.org/?p=438
I had argued that 高麗菜 was probably a loan term from Japan since Mandarin does not use 高麗菜 for cabbage, but 白菜 or 捲心菜. However, a friend of mine who is a linguist of Japanese shot that theory right out of the water; he commented that to his knowledge the Japanese don’t use 高麗菜 either.
So now I’m back to the drawing board: is it an indigeneous Taiwanese term? Any insights appreciated.
I can tell you that 高麗 is the Korean word “Koryo” (the origin of the name “Korea”). So 高麗菜 would be “Koryo cabbage”. Perhaps it is (or was) widely cultivated in Korea? I know they use some form of cabbage to make kimchi…