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Re: Strawberry

Posted by ESC on June 18, 2003

In Reply to: Hisory of the strawberry posted by Leigh on June 18, 2003

: I was eatting a strawberry the other day, when I wondered where did the name come, can any offer a soloution to this question, where did teh anme strawberry come from????

Two theories -- one having to do with the plant's runners and two having to do with the external seeds on the berry.

STRAWBERRY -- "The origins of 'strawberry' have long puzzled etymologists. The two most plausible suggestions put forward are that the runners put out by strawberry plants, long trailing shoots that spread across the ground, reminded people of straws laid on the floor; and that word preserves a now defunct sense of straw, 'small piece of straw or chaff,' supposedly in allusions to the fruit's 'chafflike' external seeds." From "Dictionary of Word Origins: the Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words" by John Ayto (Arcade Publishing, New York, 1990).

Main Entry: straw·ber·ry
Pronunciation: 'stro-"ber-E, -b(&-)rE
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English strEawberige, from strEaw straw + berige berry; perhaps from the appearance of the achenes on the surface
Date: before 12th century
: the juicy edible usually red fruit of any of several low-growing temperate herbs (genus Fragaria) of the rose family that is technically an enlarged pulpy receptacle bearing numerous achenes; also : a plant whose fruits are strawberries.
From Merriam-Webster online at http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary