One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The aromatic herb southernwood, Artemisia abrotanum (family Asteraceae (Compositae).
Early 19th century; earliest use found in John Jamieson (1759–1838), antiquary and philologist. Apparently from Anglo-Norman averoine, averonie, etc., with alteration of the first element by folk-etymological association with apple (perhaps on account of the aroma of the plant). For further discussion see Sc. National Dict at aippleringie n.
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