coconut


coconut
[17] Despite its tropical origins, the coconut has a European name. The base of the coconut’s shell, with its three small holes, apparently reminded early Spanish and Portuguese explorers of a human face, so they called it coco; this was the Portuguese word for a grinning or grimacing face, as of a scarecrow. English adopted it in the 16th century, and it formed the basis of the compound coconut, first recorded in 1613. (Before then the fruit of the coconut palm had been known as the Indian nut.)
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   The name of the nut comes from Spanish or Portuguese coco, a term for a grinning face. The reference is to the three holes on the base of the nut, which suggest a monkey's face. The spelling cocoanut appears to have originated from Dr. Johnson's dictionary (1755), in which by mistake he had the entries for both the coconut palm and cacao ('chocolate nut') under the single heading cocoa.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coconut — steht für Coconut Island, Insel Coconut Grove, Stadtviertel in Miami, Florida, USA Coconut Creek. Stadt im US Bundesstaat Florida, USA Señor Coconut, Pseudonym von Uwe Schmidt, Künstler Coconuts steht für: Coconuts (1985), Film. PTC Coconuts,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • coconut — co co*nut, Cocoanut Co coa*nut (k[=o] k[ o]*n[u^]t ), n. 1. the edible white meat of a coconut[3]; often shredded for use in e.g. cakes and curries. Syn: coconut meat. [WordNet 1.5] 2. the {cocoa palm}. Syn: coconut palm, coco palm, coco, cocoa… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • coconut — ► NOUN 1) the large brown seed of a tropical palm, consisting of a hard woody husk surrounded by fibre, lined with edible white flesh and containing a clear liquid (coconut milk). 2) the edible white flesh of a coconut. ORIGIN from Spanish and… …   English terms dictionary

  • coconut — or cocoanut [kō′kə nut΄] n. the fruit of the coconut palm, consisting of a thick, fibrous, brown, oval husk under which there is a thin, hard shell enclosing a layer of edible white meat: the hollow center is filled with a sweet, milky fluid… …   English World dictionary

  • coconut — 1610s, from COCO (Cf. coco) + NUT (Cf. nut). Meaning the head is slang from 1834 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Coconut — For other uses, see Coconut (disambiguation). Coconut Palm Cocos nucifera Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera) Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • coconut — n. (also cocoanut) 1 a a large ovate brown seed of the coco, with a hard shell and edible white fleshy lining enclosing a milky juice. b = COCO. c the edible white fleshy lining of a coconut. 2 sl. the human head. Phrases and idioms: coconut… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Coconut — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Coconut, noix de coco en anglais, peut faire référence à : Coconut, une chanson de Dannii Minogue, Coconut, une chanson de Harry Nilsson, Coconut… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • coconut —   Niu (for various kinds, see Haw. Eng. entry and entries that follow it); pu upu u niu, punia, ōka a.   Parts: nī au, hā niu, poli, pani.   Also: wai o ka niu, wai niu (coconut water or cream); a a, a a a, hā a a, a amo o, a a niu, a a lole… …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • coconut — co|co|nut [ˈkəukənʌt US ˈkou ] n [Date: 1600 1700; Origin: coco coconut (16 18 centuries) (from Portuguese, grinning face ; because the bottom of a coconut, with its three spots, looks like a face) + nut] 1.) the large brown seed of a tropical… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • coconut — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ desiccated (esp. BrE), fresh, grated, shredded, toasted … OF COCONUT ▪ bunch ▪ huge bunches of fresh coconuts …   Collocations dictionary