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altered from celery; the origin of suffixal -ac is obscure
Word apparently introduced by the English gardener and landscaper Stephen Switzer (1682?-1745) in A compendious, but more particular method, than has ever yet been published, for the raising Italian brocoli, Spanish cardoon, celeriac, fenochi, and other foreign kitchen vegetables, so as to make them dishes more generally used than hithero they have been (London, first edition 1728 or 1729). Switzer claimed to have received celeriac seeds from Alexandria, but gives no account of the source of the word.