One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two thorny shrubs or small trees of the genus Ziziphus (family Rhamnaceae) that are native to the Middle East and North Africa, Z. lotus and Z. spina-christi. Also "†nabk-thorn", "nabk-tree".
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Edward Lane (1801–1876), orientalist. From Arabic nabq (also in form nabaq, nabiq, nibq) the fruit of the Ziziphus lotus or the tree itself.
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