Etymology
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lentil (n.)

type of annual leguminous plant, also its edible seed, mid-13c., from Old French lentille "lentil," also "a freckle" (12c.), from Latin lenticula, diminutive of Latin lens (genitive lentis) "lentil plant, a lentil," cognate with Greek lathyros "pulse;" Old High German German linsa, German linse "a lentil;" Old Church Slavonic lęšta, Russian ljač.

The similarity between Slavic, Gm. and Latin seems too great to be coincidental, but a common preform cannot be reconstructed. Like other agricultural terms, 'lentil' may have been borrowed from a non-IE language in Europe. [de Vaan]
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lenticular (adj.)
"lens-shaped, having the form of a double-convex lens," early 15c., from Late Latin lenticularis "lentil-shaped," from lenticula "a small lentil," diminutive of Latin lens "a lentil" (see lentil). Related: Lenticularity (1890).
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lens (n.)

1690s, "glass to regulate light rays," from Latin lens (genitive lentis) "a lentil," on analogy of the double-convex shape. See lentil. Anatomical use, of the eye part, from 1719. Lens-cap is from 1857.

In the vernacular of the photographer, anyone crowding to the front of a group, staring into the lens, or otherwise attracting attention to himself is known as a "lens louse." ["American Photography," vol. xl, 1946; the term dates from 1915]
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chickpea (n.)

also chick-pea, 1712, a false singular of chich-pease (1540s), earlier simply chich (late 14c.), cich, from Old French chiche "chick-pea" (13c.), from Latin cicer "pea," which is of uncertain origin, but with likely cognates in Greek kikerroi "pale," Armenian sisern "chick-pea," Albanian thjer "lentil." The Latin plural, cicera, is also the source of Italian cece and was borrowed into Old High German as chihhra (German Kichererbse).

The English word was altered after 17c. on the model of French pois chiche , and folk-etymologized as chick-. For second element, see pease.

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bean (n.)

Old English bean "bean, pea, legume," from Proto-Germanic *bauno (source also of Old Norse baun, Middle Dutch bone, Dutch boon, Old High German bona, German Bohne), and related to Latin faba "bean;" Greek phakos "lentil;" Albanian bathë "horse-bean;" Old Prussian babo, Russian bob "bean," but the original form is obscure. Watkins suggests a PIE reduplicated root *bha-bhā- "broad bean;" de Vaan writes that the Italic, Slavic and Germanic "are probably independent loanwords from a European substratum word of the form *bab- (or similar) 'bean'."

As a metaphor for "something of small value" it is attested from c. 1300 (hill of beans as something not much to amount to is from 1863). Meaning "head" is U.S. baseball slang 1905 (in bean-ball "a pitch thrown at the head"); thus slang verb bean meaning "to hit on the head," attested from 1910. Bean-shooter as a child's weapon for mischief, a sort of small sling-shot to fire beans, is attested from 1876. Slang bean-counter "accountant" recorded by 1971.

The notion of lucky or magic beans in English folklore is from the exotic beans or large seeds, carried from the Caribbean or South America by the Gulf Stream, that wash up occasionally in Cornwall and western Scotland. They were cherished, believed to ward off the evil eye and aid in childbirth.

To not know beans "be ignorant" is attested by 1842 in American English, often said to be a New England phrase; it is perhaps from the "object of little worth" sense. Some of the earliest citations give it in a fuller form, but they do not agree: "why, I sometimes think they don't know beans when the bag is open" ["The History of the Saints," 1842]; "This feller don't know beans from porridge, no how." ["Etchings of a Whaling Cruise," 1850]. It might have a connection to the English colloquial expression know how many beans make five (1824) "be a clever fellow."

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