evergreen bush with fragrant white flowers, c. 1400, from Old French mirtile, from Medieval Latin myrtillus, diminutive of Latin myrtus "myrtle tree," from Greek myrtos "the myrtle, a sprig of myrtle," from same Semitic source as Greek myrrha (see myrrh). In ancient times it was sacred to Venus. The modern word is also applied to similar plants, some unrelated. Earlier Middle English forms were myrt, from Latin, and myrtine, from Medieval Latin myrtinus.
Sometimes in early use ambuscado, with a faux Spanish ending of the sort popular in 17c. As a verb, "attack from a concealed position," 1590s.
As "twigs of broom tied together to a handle to make a tool for sweeping," mid-14c. Traditionally, both the flowers and sweeping with broom twigs were considered unlucky in May (Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, etc.).
The exact measure varied from place to place and according to commodity, and though in 19c. in Britain it acquired a precise legal definition, it varied in U.S. from state to state. Used since late 14c. loosely to mean "a large quantity or number." From late 14c. as "a bushel basket." To hide (one's) light under a bushel is from Matthew v.15.
c. 1300, "tree of the genus Morus;" mid-14c. in reference to a berry from the tree; an alteration of morberie (13c.) from or cognate with Middle High German mul-beri (alteration by dissimilation of Old High German mur-beri, Modern German Maulbeere); both from Latin morum "mulberry, blackberry" + Old English berie, Old High German beri "berry."
The Latin word probably is from Greek moron "mulberry," from PIE *moro- "blackberry, mulberry" (source also of Armenian mor "blackberry," Middle Irish merenn, Welsh merwydden "mulberry"). As a color-name by 1837. The children's singing game with a chorus beginning "Here we go round the mulberry bush" is attested by 1820s, first in Scotland.
"dense, low shrub thicket," 1850, American English, from Spanish chaparro "evergreen oak," perhaps from Basque txapar "little thicket," diminutive of sapar "heath, thicket."
In Spain, a chaparral is a bush of a species of oak. The termination al signifies a place abounding in; as, chaparral, a place of oak-bushes, almendral, an almond orchard; parral, a vineyard; cafetal, a coffee plantation, etc., etc.
This word, chaparral, has been introduced into the language since our acquisition of Texas and New Mexico, where these bushes abound. It is a series of thickets, of various sizes, from one hundred yards to a mile through, with bushes and briars, all covered with thorns, and so closely entwined together as almost to prevent the passage of any thing larger than a wolf or hare. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]