One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A berry or similar small fruit borne by a hedge shrub or hedgerow tree, as a wild blackberry; the plant bearing this; specifically (the fruit of) the hagberry or bird cherry, Prunus padus, or the common wild cherry, P. avium.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Norden (c1547–1625), cartographer. From hedge + berry, apparently originally (with specific reference to the bird cherry) as an alteration of hagberry.
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