There was the phrase “found-in-a-cabbage-patch look” in the article of Time magazine (October 3, 2011) titled “Playing Favorites,” that dealt with the results of recent researches on the prevalence of parents’ favoritism toward particular one of their children.

The author, Jeffery Kluger writes;

“I was the second of four in an all-boy brood, and by almost any measure, the third in line, Garry, should have been the favorite, simply because he was gorgeous, born with extravagantly long eyelashes, absurdly perfect features and platinum blond hair that completed his ‘found-in a-cabbage-patch look.’”

I can vaguely imagine how a cherub-like boy with ‘found-in a-cabbage-patch look’ looks with the association of “Cabbage-Patch Kids” dolls. But I don’t think the author is referring to “Cabbage-Patch Kids” character here.

What do ‘the baby found in a cabbage patch’ and ‘found-in-a-cabbage-patch look’ mean? What is the origin of the word, “found in a cabbage patch”?

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    When a child asks "Mummy, where did I come from?", we have various stock answers if we don't want to start the whole "birds and bees" just yet. "We found you in a cabbage patch" is just another one of those fanciful answers, like "The stork brought you". That's why they used it for the dolls, but Kluger has to explcitly name several "doll-like" features because he knows perfectly well if he didn't, no-one would be familiar with his usage. Even though we can understand it (with his help!), it's not an established term at all, IMHO. Anyway, basically, it means cute. Jan 7, 2012 at 2:10
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    I second what FF said. If not cute, then darling or some other precious synonym. Note: The whole article is available online for those who wish to read it. (I used it to make a couple of edits in the quoted matter.)
    – Robusto
    Jan 7, 2012 at 3:06
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    @FF Why didn't you post it as an answer? I'd have up-voted it.
    – drakorg
    Jan 7, 2012 at 3:13
  • @Eduardo: Copy and post it if you want. I don't think this expression has any currency, so I'm not bothered about answering it as such. Besides, there might be lots of people who are quite familiar with this particular "look". To me, things found in the cabbage patch are likely to contain caterpillars; I don't study them much. :) Jan 7, 2012 at 4:18
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    My birthday is January 1st. Everybody says “A Happy New Year, and a happy birthday to you.’ on the New Year. But as I felt the coincidence of New Year and birthday is so rare, I once asked my mother if I was really born on January 1st in my childhood. She answered me “I thought I had you in summer, in the wheat field.” I was so shocked. I’m still not sure of if she teased me, or was serious. However, ‘born in rice (wheat) field’ or ‘white radish patch’ seems to be a Japanese common saying to mean someone from insignificant family. I hope “found in a cabbage patch’ has much nicer connotation. Jan 7, 2012 at 4:21

2 Answers 2


In France specifically, when kids ask where babies come from, people say "les filles sont nées dans les roses et les garçons dans les choux" ("girls are born in the roses, and and boys in the cabbages").

It's also a French term of endearment to refer to someone as mon petit chou -- "my little darling" -- which, depending on who you believe, means "my little cabbage" or "my little cream puff" (from mon petit chou à la crème).

So you can say that someone having a "found-in-a-cabbage-patch look" is cute, darling, or, perhaps, baby-faced.

As to the origin of the phrase "found in a cabbage patch," the imagery in Lisel Mueller's poem "Found in the Cabbage Patch" is suggestive.

  • I just found this: The Cabbage Fairy (1896) (La Fée aux Choux) - one of the earliest narrative fiction films ever made.
    – ipso
    Jan 15, 2015 at 1:28

I think it has to do with fairytales you tell children.

Q: Daddy, where did I come from? A: A stork brought you – or – We found you in the cabbage patch.

But the reference you give is surely to Cabbage Patch Kids, as you state; so simply a metaphor for “cutsie” (albeit a weak one IMO.) Had the brood been girls surely the reference would have been to “Barbie”. (“Ken” itself doesn’t work.)

But all that is just how I perceive the example given.

(Oops – I see same info in the [Feedback] area – but I’ll add this anyway since the question is still unanswered.)

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