An Etymological Dictionary of the German Language/Kartoffel
Kartoffel, f., ‘potato,’ derived by a process of differentiation from the earlier ModHG. form Tartuffel. Potatoes were introduced into Germany about the middle of the 18th cent. from Italy, as is proved by the Ital. name (comp. Ital. tartufo, tartufolo; see Trüffel). Another name, Erdapfel, seems to indicate that the plant was brought from the Netherlands and France, Du. aard-appel, Fr. pomme de terre. The dial. Grumbire is due to a similar conception, its orig. form being Grundbirne. Tuffeln is a shortened form of Kartoffel, resulting from the position of the accent (comp. Kürbis from cucúrbita). The rarer dial. Bataten (Franc.), which corresponds to E. potato, is based upon Ital. and Span. patata, the final source of which is an American word. Potatoes were introduced in the 17th cent. from America into Spain and Italy, and were transplanted from these countries to the north.