Australian financial news site The Conversation has taken a look at the names of some of the world’s most popular instruments and found them to be a bit of a misnomer.
The article found that while Australian music instruments can be named for a variety of things, most of them are named after foods and vegetables.
For example, the Australian flag is named after the Australian Potato and Potato Chips, while the Australian fruit is named for the Australian pear.
“Some of the names are quite misleading and confusing,” says Associate Professor Nicky Stirling.
“They might be good names but they’re not really the name of the instrument.”
Stirling says while there are a lot of Australian instruments with names like ‘apple’, ‘pomegranate’, ‘cucumber’, ‘pineapple’ or ‘prawn’, they’re actually named after vegetables.
“For example if you’ve got a tomato, you’ve probably got a carrot or a tomato and it’s not really a fruit or vegetable, it’s just a vegetable, a vegetable named after a vegetable,” she says.
“So the problem is that there are quite a few of them, in fact there’s probably one in every state in Australia, but they are not really names.”
In the US, a variety called ‘peppermint’ has a very similar name to the Australian potato, but is actually named for ‘pink grapefruit’.
“It’s a bit strange to think that we have a potato named after it and that we don’t have a tomato named after its fruit,” she said.
“In fact, there are many potato names that sound a lot like tomatoes.”
Professor Stirling says the name ‘pinecone’ in some US states is actually a pun on ‘pine’, the sound made when the fruit of a pomegranates root is crushed.
“There are many things that are similar to tomatoes and pears and so on,” she told ABC News Breakfast.
“And that’s the problem.
So you’ve sort of created a kind of bizarre name system, and that’s just because of how many different things people want to name things.”
Professor Mark Anderton agrees with Professor Stirling, saying Australian food names have become a bit confusing.
“People are probably asking themselves the question, ‘Is this a fruit, a vegetables or a vegetable?'” he says.”[The] thing that really bugs me is when you think about how much more we’re eating these days than we used to, and we don, at least in Australia I guess, eat it quite regularly.”