• Etymons

    Olive

    Olives, deliberately planted and tended for thousands of years, are intimately tied to the early diets of ancient humans, who carefully cultivated them wherever we roamed, so much so that a plant with Afro-Asiatic ancestry is now grown even in Washington state. It’s no small thing, that, and it marks the importance of the olive tree in human history, given that the plant is used not only for the fruit (the olive), but for the oil, pressed from the fruit, and the leaves, and even the wood. English, etymologically speaking, obtained the word olive via Old French, olive, from Latin oliva, “olive, olive tree,” from Greek elaia “olive tree, olive.”…