Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: acajou

acajou (AK-uh-zhoo) - n., the cashew tree, its fruits, or its resin; the wood of any of several species of mahogany.


Given that the cashew tree is not related to the mahoganies, interesting that this word came to be applied to the wood -- and it's not at all clear from the traces online how this happened. Nor is it clear which way the application went: the word is from French acajou, cashew, from which the English cashew also derives, from Portuguese, acaju, from Old Tupi acaju or agapú or acajuba or aka'iu -- the dictionaries have a range of romanizations, if those aren't actually different words, and disagree on what it/they meant, either cashew or mahogany. If anyone can provide clarity on the matter, I'd appreciate it.

Across the clearing were the spreading branches of a fine old acajou.

---L.
Tags: a, french, noun, portuguese, tupi
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