One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
More fully "bigarreau cherry". Any of a group of cultivated varieties of sweet cherry, Prunus avium (also "bigarreau cherry tree"); the fruit of such trees, which is typically large and heart-shaped with mottled pale and red skin and very firm flesh.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Parkinson (1566/7–1650), apothecary and herbalist. From French bigarreau from bigarrer to variegate, of uncertain origin + -eau.
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