Rutabaga has many national and regional names. Rutabaga is the common American and Canadian term for the plant. This comes from the old Swedish word Rotabagge, meaning simply "ram root". In the U.S., the plant is also known as Swedish turnip or yellow turnip. The term swede is used instead of rutabaga in many Commonwealth Nations, including much of England, Wales, Australia, and New Zealand. The name turnip is also used in parts of Northern and Midland England, the Westcountry (particularly Cornwall), Ireland, Manitoba, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. In Scotland, it is known as turnip, and in Scots as tumshie or neep. Some areas of south east Scotland, such as Berwickshire and Roxburghshire, still use the term baigie, possibly a derivative of the original Swedish rutabaga. The term "turnip" is also used for the white turnip. Some will also refer to both swede and (white) turnip as just "turnip". In North-East England, turnips and swedes are colloquially called snadgers, snaggers (archaic) or narkies.
Its common name in Sweden is kålrot. Similarly, in Denmark it is known as kålroe and kålrabi, while in Norway it known as kålrabi in addition to being known as kålrot. In Denmark and Norway kålrabi is sometimes confused with Swedish kålrabbi (which corresponds to German Kohlrabi). The Finnish term is lanttu. Rutabaga is known as Steckrübe in German.