"Phred" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:***@individual.net...
| G'day mates,
| A question arose today about pigeon pea (still _Cajanus cajan_ to
| me; but the taxonomists say it's now in _Atylosia_).
| It was quite a simple question: "Why is pigeon pea called pigeon
| pea?" [AKA "pigeonpea".]
| I have to say, I'm damned if I know why! It's been pigeon pea to me
| since I first met it 40 years ago, and I've never wondered why.
| According to <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pigeon+pea> it's simply
| "From the use of its seeds as pigeon feed."
| While that may well be true, it almost sounds *too* simplistic. After
| all, the main use is for human food (red gram, toor dal, etc.)
| especially in India.
| So where and why has it become associated with bloody pigeons?
| (An analogous question arises for "chickpea".)
| Cheers, Phred.
Weeds and Words : The Etymology of the Scientific Names of Weeds and Crops.
Robert L Zimdahl
Iowa St. U. Press, 1989.
Cicer arietinum L. Cicer (L) chickpea.
Ok. But why did the Romans call it "chickpea"?
Cajanus cajan (l.) Huth Pigeon pea
Canan: (L) prop. fr. Malay kachang = bean or pea; also pigeon pea.
"The generic and specific names have the same origin, which is unique among the plants
included herein. The names are not descriptive of looks or behavior, but the do reveal
what is in the language from which the name originated. Pigeon peas are cultivated
for their edible seeds in India and other semiarid tropical areas."
Say - what 'bout the pigeon- berry. Duranta repens L.?
Manual of Cultivated Plants
donald j haarmann
His talk was like a stream, which runs
With rapid change from rocks to roses;
It slipped from politics to puns,
It passes from Mahomet to Moses;
Beginning with the laws which keep
The Planets in their radian courses;
And ending with some precept deep
For dressing eels, or shoeing horses.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed