Etymology
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durum (n.)

species of hard wheat especially used in making macaroni, by 1904, from Latin durum, neuter of durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." The seeds are tough. It was introduced in the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture in 1899 from Russia and 1900 from North Africa.

Previous to 1901 this wheat could not usually be sold at the elevators or mills at any price and was rarely grown—in small quantities only, for stock feed. Since its commercial value has been demonstrated the production has increased from 100,000 bushels, the largest estimate in 1901, to at least 6,000,000 bushels in 1903—an increase of sixtyfold in two years. [Flour Trade News, November 1904]
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semolina (n.)

meal from the large, hard kernels of wheat left after the fine flour has been sifted, 1797, alteration of Italian semolino "grits; paste for soups," diminutive of semola "bran," from Latin simila "the finest flour," probably from the same Semitic source as Greek semidalis "the finest flour" (compare Assyrian samidu, Syrian semida "fine meal").

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thrash (v.)
1580s, "to separate grains from wheat, etc., by beating," dialectal variant of threshen (see thresh). Sense of "beat (someone) with (or as if with) a flail" is first recorded 1620s. Meaning "to make wild movements like those of a flail or whip" is attested from 1846. Related: Thrashed; thrashing. As a noun from 1660s, "threshing tool;" 1840s as "a beating;" 1982 as the name for a type of fast heavy metal music.
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mummy (n.1)

late 14c., mummie, "medicinal substance prepared from mummy tissue," from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mumiyah "embalmed body," from Persian mumiya "asphalt," from mum "wax." Sense of "dead human body embalmed and dried after the manner of the ancient Egyptians" is recorded in English from 1610s. Mummy wheat (1842), grown in Egypt and Ethiopia and once thought to be a distinct species, was said to have been cultivated from grains found in mummy-cases.

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bran (n.)
"the husk of wheat, barley, etc., separated from the flour after grinding," c. 1300, from Old French bren "bran, scurf, scales, feces" (12c., Modern French bran), perhaps from Celtic and connected with Gaulish *brenno- "manure" (but OED is against this) or with burn (v.). The word also was used 16c. in English for "dandruff flakes."
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grain (n.)
early 14c., "a small, hard seed," especially of one of the cereal plants, also as a collective singular, "seed of wheat and allied grasses used as food;" also "something resembling grain; a hard particle of other substances" (salt, sand, later gunpowder, etc.), from Old French grain, grein (12c.) "seed, grain; particle, drop; berry; grain as a unit of weight," from Latin granum "seed, a grain, small kernel," from PIE root *gre-no- "grain." From late 14c. as "a species of cereal plant." In the U.S., where corn has a specialized sense, it is the general word (used of wheat, rye, oats, barley, etc.).

Figuratively, "the smallest possible quantity," from late 14c. From early 15c. in English as the smallest unit of weight (originally the weight of a plump, dry grain of wheat or barley from the middle of the ear). From late 14c as "roughness of surface; a roughness as of grains." In reference to wood, "quality due to the character or arrangement of its fibers," 1560s; hence, against the grain (1650), a metaphor from carpentry: cutting across the fibers of the wood is more difficult than cutting along them.

Earliest sense of the word in English was "scarlet dye made from insects" (early 13c.), a sense also in the Old French collateral form graine; see kermes for the evolution of this sense, which was frequent in Middle English; also compare engrain. In Middle English grain also could mean "seed of flowers; pip of an apple, grape, etc.; a berry, legume, nut." Grain alcohol attested by 1854.
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awn (n.)
"bristly fibers on grain of plants," c. 1300, from Old Norse ögn, from Proto-Germanic *agano (source also of Old English egenu, Old High German agana, German Ahne, Gothic ahana), from PIE *ak-ona- (source also of Sanskrit asani- "arrowhead," Greek akhne "husk of wheat," Latin acus "chaff," Lithuanian akuotas "beard, awn"); suffixed form of root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce."
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flower (n.)

c. 1200, flour, also flur, flor, floer, floyer, flowre, "the blossom of a plant; a flowering plant," from Old French flor "flower, blossom; heyday, prime; fine flour; elite; innocence, virginity" (12c., Modern French fleur), from Latin florem (nominative flos) "flower" (source of Italian fiore, Spanish flor), from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom."

From late 14c. in English as "blossoming time," also, figuratively, "prime of life, height of one's glory or prosperity, state of anything that may be likened to the flowering state of a plant." As "the best, the most excellent; the best of its class or kind; embodiment of an ideal," early 13c. (of persons, mid-13c. of things); for example flour of milk "cream" (early 14c.); especially "wheat meal after bran and other coarse elements have been removed, the best part of wheat" (mid-13c.). Modern spelling and full differentiation from flour (n.) is from late 14c.

In the "blossom of a plant" sense it ousted its Old English cognate blostm (see blossom (n.)). Also used from Middle English as a symbol of transitoriness (early 14c.); "a beautiful woman" (c. 1300); "virginity" (early 14c.). Flower-box is from 1818. Flower-arrangement is from 1873. Flower child "gentle hippie" is from 1967.

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meal (n.2)

"the edible part of ground grain;" Middle English mēle, from Old English melu, from Proto-Germanic *melwan "grind" (source also of Old Frisian mele "meal," Old Saxon melo, Middle Dutch mele, Dutch meel, Old High German melo, German Mehl, Old Norse mjöl "meal;" literally "what is ground;" Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic malan, German mahlen "to grind"), from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." The verb form is not found in Old English. Forms with an -a- begin in late Middle English. "Now commonly understood to exclude the product of wheat (this being called FLOUR)" [OED].

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germ (n.)

mid-15c., "bud, sprout;" 1640s, "rudiment of a new organism in an existing one," from French germe "germ (of egg); bud, seed, fruit; offering," from Latin germen (genitive germinis) "spring, offshoot; sprout, bud," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.

The older sense is preserved in wheat germ and germ of an idea; sense of "seed of a disease" first recorded 1796 in English; that of "harmful micro-organism" dates from 1871. Germ warfare is recorded from 1919.

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