c. 1400 peche, peoche, "fleshy fruit of the peach tree" (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French pesche "peach, peach tree" (Old North French peske, Modern French pêche), and directly from Medieval Latin pesca, from Late Latin pessica, variant of persica "peach, peach tree," from Latin mālum Persicum, literally "Persian apple," translating Greek Persikon malon, from Persis "Persia" (see Persian).
Old English had it as persue, persoe, directly from Latin. In ancient Greek Persikos could mean "Persian" or "the peach." The tree is native to China, but reached Europe via Persia. By 1663 William Penn observed peaches in cultivation on American plantations. Meaning "attractive woman" is attested from 1754; that of "good person" is by 1904. Peaches and cream in reference to a type of complexion is from 1901. Peach blossom as the delicate pink hue of the peach blossom is from 1702. Georgia has been the Peach State since 1939, though it was noted as a leading peach-grower by 1908.
"to inform against, betray one's accomplices," 1560s (earlier pechen, "to accuse, indict, bring to trial," c. 1400), a shortening of appeach, empeach, obsolete variants of impeach. For form, compare peal (v.), also Middle English pelour "an accuser," from appellour. Related: Peached; peaching; peacher.
mid-14c., pele, "a ringing of a bell" especially as a call to church service; generally considered a shortened form of appeal (n.), with the notion of a bell that "summons" people to church (compare similar evolution in peach (v.)). Middle English pele also had the sense of "an accusation, an appeal" (15c.), and apele for "a ringing of bells" is attested from mid-15c.
Extended sense of "loud ringing of bells" is first recorded 1510s; subsequently it was transferred to other successions of loud sounds (thunder, cannon, mass shouts or laughter). Meaning "set of bells tuned to one another" is by 1789.
in various food preparations, especially peach Melba (by 1905) and Melba toast (by 1913) is in honor of Nellie Melba, stage name (based on her hometown of Melbourne, Australia) of Australian-born operatic soprano Helen Mitchell (1861-1931).
1812, "to desert one's party, go over from a losing cause;" 1847 as "to work for less than current wages, refuse to join a labor strike;" 1864 as "to catch or kill rats;" 1910 as "to peach on, inform on, behave dishonestly toward;" from rat (n.). All but the third are extended from the proverbial belief that rats leave a ship about to sink or a house about to fall. Related: Ratted; ratting.
"a stone-fruit," one with a fleshy or soft outer part and a hard nut or stone at the center (as a plum, cherry, apricot, or peach), 1753, from Modern Latin drupa "stone-fruit," from Latin drupa (oliva) "wrinkled olive," from Greek dryppa, short for drypepes "tree-ripened," from drys "tree" (from PIE root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast," with specialized senses "wood, tree") + pepon "ripe" (from PIE root *pekw- "to cook, ripen").
roundish, orange-colored, plum-like fruit, 1550s, abrecock, from Catalan abercoc, related to Portuguese albricoque, from Arabic al-birquq, through Byzantine Greek berikokkia which is probably from Latin (mālum) praecoquum "early-ripening (fruit)" (see precocious). Form assimilated to French abricot.
Latin praecoquis early-ripe, can probably be attributed to the fact that the fruit was considered a variety of peach that ripened sooner than other peaches .... [Barnhart]
Native to the Himalayas, it was introduced in England in 1524. The older Latin name for it was prunum Armeniacum or mālum Armeniacum, in reference to supposed origin in Armenia. As a color name, by 1906.