1888, from treasure trove (c. 1550), from Anglo-French tresor trové (late 12c.), translating Latin thesaurus inventus, literally "treasure found." Originally any precious metal object one finds hidden whose owner is unknown. As this usually meant ancient hoards, the term came to mean "treasure hoard" in popular use. Rendered treasure found from mid-15c. French trove is past participle of trover "to find," from Old French trover, torver, of unknown origin, perhaps from Latin turbare "to move" (hence "to seek for") or Medieval Latin *tropare "to compose, sing."
updated on February 18, 2014