AskDefine | Define scallion

Dictionary Definition



1 plant having a large slender white bulb and flat overlapping dark green leaves; used in cooking; believed derived from the wild Allium ampeloprasum [syn: leek, Allium porrum]
2 young onion before the bulb has enlarged [syn: green onion]

User Contributed Dictionary



Anglo-Norman scalun (cognate with Old French escalogne), from a Proto-Romance derivation of Latin Ascalonia ‘shallot’, from AscaloAscalon’ an ancient Palestinian port.




  1. italbrac now chiefly US A spring onion, Allium fistulosum.
  2. italbrac now chiefly US Any of various similar members of the genus Allium
  3. italbrac now chiefly US Any onion that lacks a fully-developed bulb.
  4. In the context of "US|Scotland": A leek.



Allium fistulosum
  • Chinese: 葱
  • Danish: Forårsløg
  • Finnish: pillisipuli, kevätsipuli
  • German: Lauchzwiebel
  • Indonesian: Daun bawang
  • Italian: cipolla d’inverno
  • Japanese: ネギ, 葱
  • Korean:
  • Portuguese: Cebolinha-verde
  • Spanish: escalonia
  • Swedish: Salladslök
  • Turkish: Yeşil soğan

Extensive Definition

"Green onions" redirects here. For the Booker T. & the M.G.s instrumental, see Green Onions. For the album, see Green Onions (album).
A scallion, also commonly known as spring onion, green onion or salad onion, is associated with various members of the genus Allium that lack a fully-developed bulb. They tend to be milder tasting than other onions and are typically steamed and set in salads in western cookery and cooked in many Asian recipes. Diced scallions are often used in soup, noodle and seafood dishes, and in sauces in eastern dishes, after removing the bottom quarter-inch or so of the root end.
The species most commonly associated with the name is the Welsh onion, Allium fistulosum. "Scallion" is sometimes used for Allium ascalonicum, better known as the shallot. The words scallion and shallot are related and can be traced back to the Greek askolonion as described by the Greek writer Theophrastus; this name, in turn, seems to originate from the Philistine town of Ascalon (modern-day Ashkelon in Israel). The shallots themselves apparently came from farther east.

Other names and varieties

Scallions have various common names throughout the world.
  • Australia: The normal term is spring onion, but the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries has introduced the term shallot. This has also required the renaming of shallots to eschalotte.
  • Brazil: cebolinha-verde, meaning "small green onions" and is usually sold combined with parsley to form "cheiro verde", literally "green smell". "Cebolinha" is also the name of a popular comics character, named so because his scallion-like hair, known in English as Jimmy Five.
  • Bulgaria: пресен лук, meaning "fresh onion". Extensively used in various popular Bulgarian salads, usually in combination with lettuce and tomatoes
  • Cagayan, Philippines: lasuna especially to dark, green scallions. Used widely in sauces and as garnishes.
  • Cebu, Philippines: sibuyas dahunan derived from the two local words sibuyas meaning onion and dahunan meaning leafy or with a leaf.
  • China: They are usually called cong (葱).
  • Cuba: Usually called cebollino which could be something like "small onions".
  • Denmark: Forårsløg, which literally translates to spring onions.
  • Germany: Frühlingszwiebeln, which literally translates to spring onions. The term Schalotte has also been used.
  • Great Britain and some Commonwealth countries: The most popular name is spring onions.
  • Wales: They may also be referred to as gibbons (pronounced jib-uns).
  • Scotland: They may be referred to as cibies or syboes.
  • Ireland: The term scallions is used.
  • Italy: They are usually called "cipollotti" or "cipolline novelle".
  • India: They are called spring onions and they are available widely.
  • Indonesia: They are referred to as Daun Bawang which literally translates to onion leaf from their green and leafy form.
  • Iran: They are referred to as Tarreh and are used in many dishes.
  • Japan: . Traditionally, green scallions similar to those available in other countries have been used in the Kansai region; Kyoto's kujo negi is a representative variety of this type. In the Kantō region, large white-stalked varieties such as tokyo negi outwardly resemble leeks, although their culinary use is closer to scallions than to leeks.
  • Korea: pa (hangul: 파).
  • Malay: They are called daun bawang.
  • The Netherlands: Bosuitjes, which literally translates to forest onions or Lenteuitjes, which translates to Spring Onions.
  • New Zealand : They are called "Spring Onions"
  • Peru : They are called "Cebollita china" which literally translates to "chinese onion"
  • Serbia: They are known as mladi luk ("Young onions").
  • Catalonia, Spain: There is a variety known as Calçot, (though this can be used to mean the immature sprout of an ordinary onion after over-wintering). They are eaten roasted and accompanied by a savoury dip.
  • Sweden: They are known as "salladslök" which translates to "salad onions". Some people use "vårlök" which is a literal translation of spring onion, but actually refers to Gagea lutea.
  • Thailand: They are called "ต้นหอม", roughly translated as "stemmed onion" and can be eaten raw as a condiment to many foods, chopped and used as garnish or boiled with other root vegetables to provide stock.
  • Turkey: They are called either "taze soğan" or "yeşil soğan", which literally translate to fresh or green onion.
  • Vietnam: They are called "Hanh La", which literally translates to leafy onion.
  • United States and Canada: scallion or green onion. The term green onion can also be used for immature specimens of the ordinary onion (Allium cepa).
  • Loseland: Referred to as "Marquilletion" and famed for being the worst of all scallions. Also see lesser scallion.


The escallion (Allium ascalonicum L., pronounced scallion with its silent e) is a culinary herb. Grown in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, it is similar in appearance to the scallion, Welsh onion and leek, though said by Jamaicans to be more flavoursome. Like these others, it is a (relatively) mild onion that does not form a large bulb.
The Jamaican name is probably a variant of scallion, although like scallion, this term is itself used loosely at different times to denote the spring onion, the leek, the shallot and the green stalk of the immature garden onion (Allium cepa). The spelling escalion is recorded in the eighteenth century; scallion is older, dating from at least the fourteenth century. To add to the confusion, the spring onion is known in some countries as the eschallot. However, the OEDs reference to escalions in Phillip H. Gosse's Birds of Jamaica (1847) implies that Gosse knew the shallot and the escalion to be different herbs, and this article accepts that authority. The term escallion is now not current in English outside its Jamaican usage. Escallion is a common and much prized ingredient in authentic Jamaican cuisine, in combination with thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, garlic, pimento and allspice. Recipes calling for escallion sometimes suggest the use of leek as a substitute, though in salads, scallions would be more appropriate; neither is seen by Jamaicans as truly adequate. Jamaican dried spice mixtures that include escallion are available commercially. Fresh escallion is difficult to find and expensive outside Jamaica itself.
In Trinidad & Tobago this herb is commonly known as 'chive' with the 'ch' pronounced as 's'.


scallion in Danish: Forårsløg
scallion in German: Lauchzwiebel
scallion in French: Ciboule
scallion in Indonesian: Daun bawang
scallion in Malay (macrolanguage): Daun bawang
scallion in Japanese: ネギ
scallion in Portuguese: Cebolinha-verde
scallion in Swedish: Salladslök
scallion in Turkish: Yeşil soğan
scallion in Chinese: 葱
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