buckwheat

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English[edit]

Buckwheat (plant)
Buckwheat groats

Etymology[edit]

Ultimately from Middle Low German bōkwête (beech-wheat) (so called because of its triangular seeds, which resemble the much larger seeds of the beech nut from the beech tree, and the fact that it is used like wheat), probably via Middle Dutch boecweit, boecweite. Compare German Buchweizen. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌkʍiːt/, /ˈbʌkwiːt/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

buckwheat (usually uncountable, plural buckwheats)

  1. An Asian plant, of the species Fagopyrum esculentum. [from 16th c.]
  2. (cooking) The fruit of this plant used as a pseudocereal.
  3. (Western US) Any of the wild buckwheats in the genus Eriogonum.
  4. (slang) A slow and painful murder by the Mafia as a warning to others.
    • 2000, Olindo Romeo Chiocca, Mobsters and Thugs: Quotes from the Underworld (page 17)
      Mafia mythology has many believe that the method used to eliminate a person is often a reflection of the respect for that individual. In this case, the Profaci gunman must have witnessed a "buckwheat's" execution, where an example is being made of the victim by inflicting pain for a prolonged period.
    • 2006, Carl Sifakis, The Mafia Encyclopedia (page 66)
      Mob murders are seldom buckwheats, being instead simple business matters. An exception is made, however, for murders of example, such as in the case of informers, or mobsters who hold out on gang revenues []

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