easternmost island of the West Indies, probably from Portuguese las barbadas "the bearded;" the island so called because vines or moss hung densely from its trees, or else for banyan trees. Related: Barbadian (1732).
pulpy drupe of a well-known type of tree, c. 1300, earlier in surname Chyrimuth (1266, literally "Cherry-mouth"); from Anglo-French cherise, from Old North French cherise (Old French, Modern French cerise, 12c.), from Vulgar Latin *ceresia, from late Greek kerasian "cherry," from Greek kerasos "cherry tree," possibly from a language of Asia Minor. Beekes writes, "As the improved cherry came from the Pontos area ..., the name is probably Anatolian as well."
Mistaken in Middle English for a plural and stripped of its -s (compare pea). Old English had ciris "cherry" from a West Germanic borrowing of the Vulgar Latin word (cognate with German Kirsch), but it died out after the Norman invasion and was replaced by the French word.
Short for cherry-tree from 1620s. As an adjective, "of the color of a cherry," mid-15c.
The meaning "maidenhead, virginity" is by 1928, U.S. slang, from supposed resemblance to the hymen, but perhaps also from the long-time use of cherries as a symbol of the fleeting quality of life's pleasures (and compare English underworld slang cherry "young girl," attested from 1889). Cherry-bounce, popular name of a cordial made from fermented cherries, is from 1690s.
"to select the very best selfishly," 1959 (implied in cherry-picking), American English (Billboard magazine), a pejorative figurative sense, from cherry (n.) + pick (v.). Related: Cherry-picked. Cherry-picker as a name for a crane with a bucket for raising and lowering persons (as to pick cherries from a tree) is by 1961; earlier it was the name of a type of railroad crane.
"cherry-colored," 1853, from French cerise, from rouge-cerise "cherry-red," from cerise "cherry" (see cherry). As a noun in reference to a shade of red, 1852.
also kirschwasser, "liquor distilled from fermented cherry juice," 1778, from German Kirschwasser, literally "cherry-water;" first element from Middle High German kirse, from Old High German kirsa, from Vulgar Latin *ceresia, from Late Latin cerasium "cherry" (see cherry). For second element, see water (n.1).
1778, "cherry liqueur," especially a type originating around Zara in Dalmatia, distilled from or flavored with marasca cherries, from Italian maraschino "strong, sweet liqueur made from juice of the marasca" (a bitter black cherry), a shortening of amarasca, from amaro "bitter," from Latin amārus "sour," from PIE root *om- "raw, bitter" (source also of Sanskrit amla- "sour, acid;" Old Norse apr "sharp, cold," Old English ampre "sour one").
They however have excellent Marasche, a kind of cherry, the nut of which gives a particular flavour to the spirituous liquor known by the name of Maraschino, of which a great quantity is distilled in Dalmatia, and especially at Zara by the Signori Carseniga. [Alberto Fortis, "Travels into Dalmatia," London, 1778]
Maraschino cherry, one preserved in real or imitation maraschino, is attested by 1894.
also corme, 1570s, "fruit of the service-tree," from French corme, from Latin cornum "cornel-cherry" (but applied to service-berries in French); see cornel. Of the tree itself, 1670s.
kind of bitter cherry with a dark red skin, 1640s, a word of uncertain origin, perhaps ultimately from Latin amarus "bitter." Earlier form was morell (1610s).