acorn


acorn
a·corn (ā’kôrn′, ā’kərn)
n. The fruit of an oak, consisting of a single-seeded, thick-walled nut set in a woody, cuplike base.
[Middle English akorn, from Old English æcern.]
Word History: A thoughtful glance at the word acorn might produce the surmise that it is made up of oak (from Old English āc) and corn, especially if we think of corn in its sense of "a kernel or seed of a plant," as in peppercorn. The fact that others thought the word was so constituted partly accounts for the present form acorn. Here we see the workings of the process of linguistic change known as folk etymology, an alteration in form of a word or phrase so that it resembles a more familiar term mistakenly regarded as analogous. Acorn actually goes back to Old English æcern, "acorn," which in turn goes back to the Indo-European root *ōg-, meaning "fruit, berry."

Word Histories. 2014.

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  • Acorn — A corn, n. [AS. [ae]cern, fr. [ae]cer field, acre; akin to D. aker acorn, Ger. ecker, Icel. akarn, Dan. agern, Goth. akran fruit, akrs field; orig. fruit of the field. See {Acre}.] 1. The fruit of the oak, being an oval nut growing in a woody cup …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • acorn — (n.) O.E. æcern nut, common Germanic (Cf. O.N. akarn, Du. aker, Low Ger. ecker acorn, Ger. Ecker, Goth. akran fruit ), originally the mast of any forest tree, and ultimately related (via notion of fruit of the open or unenclosed land ) to O.E.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • acorn — ► NOUN ▪ the fruit of the oak, a smooth oval nut in a cup like base. ORIGIN Old English, related to ACRE(Cf. ↑acreage), later associated with OAK(Cf. ↑oaky) and CORN(Cf. ↑corn) …   English terms dictionary

  • acorn — [ā′kôrn΄] n. [ME akorn < OE æcern, nut, mast of trees; akin to Goth akran, ON akarn < IE base * əg , to grow, fruit: form infl. by assoc. with OE ac, oak + corn, grain] the fruit of the oak tree; an oak nut …   English World dictionary

  • Acorn® — /āˈkörn/ abbrev A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods, a type of socio economic classification that identifies the area and housing in which people live and can be used for direct mail or market research …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Acorn — The acorn is the nut of the oak tree (genera Quercus , Lithocarpus and Cyclobalanopsis , in the family Fagaceae). It is a nut, containing a single seed (rarely two seeds), enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup shaped cupule.… …   Wikipedia

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