One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tree, Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra (family Anacardiaceae), found in tropical and subtropical central and southern Africa, which has dark green, glossy foliage and an edible yellow fruit resembling a plum.
2The fruit of the marula tree, from which beer and other intoxicating liquors are brewed.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in David Livingstone (1813–1873), explorer and missionary. From Northern Sotho morula (plural merula) marula tree and marula, plural of lerula marula fruit; probably partly via Afrikaans maroela marula.
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