"fruit of the eggplant" (Solanum esculentum), 1775, from French aubergine, from Catalan alberginera (showing typical change of al- to au- in French), from Arabic al-badinjan "the eggplant" (source also of Spanish alberengena, 15c.), from Persian badin-gan, from Sanskrit vatigagama. The plant, native to Southeast Asia, was unknown to the ancients and introduced to the Mediterranean by the Arabs. As the name of a color like that of the eggplant fruit, it is attested from 1895.
updated on September 13, 2018