Today I Discovered The NSFW Origin Of The Word 'Avocado'

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We all know about avocados - delicious, green, creamy, expensive, irresistible to hipsters and guaranteed to keep you from buying a house. But have you ever stopped to question just why an avocado is called an avocado? The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, has to do with humanity's unending obsession with genitalia.

The avocado is thought to have originated in Mexico, though was spread and cultivated throughout much of Central and South America by local people long before Europeans arrived on the continent.

The curious fruit (actually a large berry) wasn't introduced to the west with the same immediacy as its fellow Latin-American delicacy chocolate. It was brought to Spain in 1601, but wasn't cultivated in countries like the US or Australia until the 19th century.

While the word 'avocado' had been first used in English in 1669, it went by many different names right up until the early parts of the 20th century. Californians called the fruit an 'ahuacate', while in Florida it was an 'alligator pear'. Many names originally encompassed the word 'pear' due to its shape.

In 1915 this was finally standardised by the Californian Avocado Association to what we know today, and the novel new term avocado stuck right up until the present.

But how we got to that one in the first place is the real story: the English word avocado came from the Nahuatl language - the language of the Aztecs. The Nahuatl word 'āhuacatl' led to the Spanish word 'aguacate' which then became 'avocado' in English.

The word āhuacatl has another meaning, however: it was often used by Aztecs to refer to testicles, because what else would you think of when you look at that ripe, delicious avocado. It's a great story to tell your friends next time someone orders smashed avo for brunch!


Comments

    An article about the origin of word, which includes one throw-away reference to testicles is NSFW? But an article called "How to give a lazy blowjob" is fair game? Your workplace must be very different to mine.

    It's only a matter of time before I get in trouble for scrolling through Life Hacker on my lunch break.

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