Word for Wednesday: Banana

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for July is fruit

The word fruit dates back to the late-twelfth century when it was used to mean ‘any vegetable product useful to humans or animals’. It entered English via Old French and comes from the Latin ‘fructus’ meaning ‘an enjoyment, delight, or satisfaction’ as well as ‘proceeds, produce, fruit, and crops’.  The word took on its modern meaning in the early thirteenth century.

Our first fruit-themed word is banana

A banana is a long curved fruit which grows in clusters. It is green when growing and turns yellow as it ripens. The fruit is known for its soft sweet flesh. 

Banana has been used in English to reference the fruit from the 1590s and the plant itself from the 1690s. It is a West African word, possibly Wolof, that entered English via Spanish or Portuguese. The word derives from the Arabic word ‘banan’ meaning 'finger'.

The term 'banana skin' dates to 1851, 'banana peel' to 1874, 'banana split' to 1905, and 'top banana' to the 1950s. 

What’s your favourite fruit? 

01 Jul 2020
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