coniferous evergreen shrub of northern regions, late 14c., gynypre, etc. (later altered to conform to Latin), from Latin iuniperus "the juniper tree" (source of Old French genevre, French genièvre, Spanish enebro, Portuguese zimbro, Italian ginepro, and, via Old French, Middle Dutch genever), a word of uncertain origin.
Perhaps it is related to iunco "reed," but there are phonetic difficulties. Watkins has it from PIE *yoini-paros "bearing juniper berries," from *yoi-ni- "juniper berry," perhaps from a non-IE language, + *-paro "producing" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). Applied to various North American species from 1748. In the English Bible (late 14c.), it renders Hebrew rethem, the name of a white-flowered shrub unrelated to the European evergreen, as the Latin word does in the Vulgate.
type of distilled drinking alcohol, 1714, shortening of geneva, altered (by influence of the name of the Swiss city, with which it has no connection) from Dutch genever "gin," literally "juniper" (because the alcohol was flavored with its berries), from Old French genevre "the plant juniper" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *jeniperus, from Latin juniperus "juniper" (see juniper).
Gin and tonic is attested by 1873; gin-sling by 1790; gin-fizz (with lemon juice and aerated water) is from 1878. Gin-mill, U.S. slang for "low-class tavern or saloon where spirits are drunk" (1872) might be a play on the senses from gin (n.2). British gin-palace "gaudily decorated tavern or saloon where spirits are drunk" is from 1831.
The card game gin rummy first attested 1941 (described in "Life" that year as the latest Hollywood fad); OED lists it with the entries for the liquor, but the sense connection seems obscure other than as a play on rummy.
"plant of the genus solanum," with white flowers and black poisonous berries, Middle English night-shade, from Old English nihtscada, literally "shade of night," perhaps in allusion to the berries; see night + shade (n.). A common Germanic compound, cognates: Dutch nachtschade, German Nachtschatten.
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.
This has Germanic cognates in Gothic arhvazna, Old English earh, Old Norse ör "arrow," from Proto-Germanic *arkw-o- "belonging to a bow." It also has cognates in Greek arkeuthos, Latvian ercis "juniper," Russian rakita, Czech rokyta, Serbo-Croatian rakita "brittle willow." De Vaan sees an Italo-Germanic word for "bow" which can be connected with Balto-Slavic and Greek words for "willow" and "juniper" "under the well-founded assumption that the flexible twigs of juniper or willow were used as bows." The Balto-Slavic and Greek forms point to *arku-; "as with many plant names, this is likely to be a non-IE loanword." Electrical sense is from 1821.
From 1791 as the name of a pale yellow color, like that of the flower, and thus a type of canary bird (1865) of that color.