One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A whitish, chalky loam characteristic of the sherry-producing region around the city of Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Andrew Henderson (1783–1835), portrait painter. From Spanish albariza, use as noun of albariza, feminine of albarizo (adjective) whitish (from albar white + -iza (from -īcea: see -itious)), probably (despite the chronology) short for tierra albariza whitish soil or land; compare Spanish albarizo (masculine) in the same sense, probably short for terreno albarizo (both 1807 or earlier).
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