Why is Coleslaw Called Coleslaw?


Words have a life of its own – it is born and evolves as time passes, like the word coleslaw.

It might be called coleslaw today, it was not always known as that.  Its ancestor, so to speak, is the Dutch word koolsalade or koolsla for short, which means cabbage salad.

“Koolsla” however, originated from the Latin word, caulis, which means cabbage.

In England, this popular side dish was commonly called “cold slaw.”  However, in 1860, the word cole, another offspring of the Latin term caulis, has been brought back to life.

Coleslaw is an American term which began in the late 19th century.

So now you can see how the word coleslaw evolved.  From colis, it became koolsalade, then cold slaw and then finally, coleslaw, the term we often use today for this crunchy cabbage dish.