How Eggplants Got Their Name?

 If you’re not American and have ever seen an eggplant before, you’ve probably spent a significant amount of time wondering why, in good God’s heavenly embrace, someone decided to name this fruit—yes, it’s technically a fruit, but more on that later—an eggplant. 

Of all the things to name it after, eggs seem to be one of the biggest stretches of the imagination. The first thing is the color: eggplants are a deep purple, almost black-ish. There’s never been an egg in the history of chickens that turned out dark purple. Not once.

So maybe it’s the shape, then? Nope—still nothing resembling an egg there. Eggplants have the shape of, well, eggplants. I guess they look a bit like big, fat, slightly malformed pears. Not something you’d expect to find coming out of a chicken, at any rate. So there’s just one thing left now, isn’t there? 

Do they even look like plants? Well, yes, they do. Thankfully, we’re not breaking the laws of physics here and eggplants are just good ol’ plants. They grow on vines and have internal seeds, and because they grow above ground that positively qualifies them as a fruit and not a vegetable. Which also means that every supermarket on the planet is putting eggplants in the wrong department.

But back to the mystery of the name: Why, oh, why did the English-speaking lads decide that it had to be an eggplant? Well, eggplants are mostly dark purple, but some varieties actually turn out perfectly white. And when you then look at a picture of a white eggplant as it’s still growing its fruits, I’m sure you’ll instantly see why they decided “eggplant” would be a good name. 

So while the grown fruit that we’re all very familiar with resembles eggs in no way whatsoever, the young plant of the white variant literally looks like eggs growing from vines. It’s weird, but that’s Mother Nature for you!


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