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 — (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

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