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.