Etymology
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alfalfa (n.)

common name in North America for "lucerne," a plant in the legume family important as a forage crop, 1845, from Spanish alfalfa, earlier alfalfez, said by Iberian sources to be from Arabic al-fisfisa "fresh fodder." Watkins says it is ultimately from an Old Iranian compound *aspa-sti- "alfalfa, clover," from *aspa- "horse" (from PIE root *ekwo- "horse") + -sti- "food," from suffixed form of PIE root *ed- "to eat."

updated on September 16, 2022

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