An Etymological Dictionary of the German Language/Annotated/Kartoffel
Kartoffel, feminine, ‘potato,’ derived by a process of differentiation from the earlier Modern High German form Tartuffel. Potatoes were introduced into Germany about the middle of the 18th century from Italy, as is proved by the Italian name (compare Italian tartufo, tartufolo; see Trüffel). Another name, Erdapfel, seems to indicate that the plant was brought from the Netherlands and France, Dutch aard-appel, French pomme de terre. The dialectic Grumbire is due to a similar conception, its original form being Grundbirne. Tuffeln is a shortened form of Kartoffel, resulting from the position of the accent (compare Kürbis from cucúrbita). The rarer dialectic Bataten (Franconian), which corresponds to English potato, is based upon Italian and Spanish patata, the final source of which is an American word. Potatoes were introduced in the 17th century from America into Spain and Italy, and were transplanted from these countries to the north.