Where Does the Word Pomegranate Come From?

So, a question that I am asked during the fall is about where the heck the name pomegranate came from.  Well, it is another word that comes to us from Latin and why pomegranate has been more common in the food industry, and not just a fad food, than most people think.  Also, a great number of words in the English language stem from this word.  Let us learn about this odd and quirky word!

The word Pomegranate come from the Latin words pōmum, meaning apple, and grānātum which means seeded.  The English name for the fruit comes from the French name “pomme-grenade”.  Oddly enough, that is where the word grenade comes from.  Grenades were originally shaped like pomegranates.  January’s birthstone, the garnet, also has it’s name history rooted in this word.  Garnet comes from granatum which becomes granum and then becomes grenat.  The reason for this is that the dark red of the seeds are the same colour of the stone.  Who here is a fan of mixed drinks?  Not me, but I do like to add Grenadine to some of my cooking.  That red sweet syrup was originally, and still is if you get the real stuff, made from pomegranate.  The name Grenadine comes from the German name for the fruit which is just Grenadine.  Yep.  It is the same word.

Random fact before I go, the original English name for the pomegranate is quite interesting.  They called it the “apple of Grenada”.  Grenada is in Spain and one of the emblems of the city is in fact a pomegranate.  The fruit came to Spain by way of the Arab traders.

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