Etymology
Advertisement

raspberry (n.)

a fruit of various plants of the genus Rubus, 1620s, earlier raspis berry (1540s), a word of obscure origin. Possibly it is from raspise "a sweet rose-colored wine" (mid-15c.), from Anglo-Latin vinum raspeys, which is itself of uncertain origin. Connection to Old French raspe, Medieval Latin raspecia, raspeium, also meaning "raspberry," are likewise obscure.

One suggestion is that it may come via Old Walloon raspoie "thicket," which is of Germanic origin. Klein suggests it is via the French word, from a Germanic source akin to English rasp (v.), with an original sense of "rough berry," based on appearance.

Of the plant itself by 1733. A native plant of Europe and Asiatic Russia, the name was applied to a similar vine in North America. As the name for a color between pink and scarlet, by 1923. Meaning "rude sound" (1890) is shortening of raspberry tart, rhyming slang for fart.

updated on April 24, 2021

Advertisement
Advertisement