c. 1300, noricerie, "place or room for infants and young children and their nurse," from Old French norture, norreture "food, nourishment; education, training," from Late Latin nutritia "a nursing, suckling," from Latin nutrire "to nourish, suckle" (see nourish). From c. 1500 as "place where anything is fostered." As a type of school for very young children, 1580s. The horticultural sense of "place where trees are raised to be transplanted" is from 1560s. Nursery rhyme is by 1807.