One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of evergreen or deciduous trees of the family Fagaceae, allied to the beech but with male flowers borne singly or in threes, which are native to temperate parts of Australasia and South America and increasingly planted elsewhere; (also nothofagus) a tree of this genus.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Science. From scientific Latin Nothofagus, genus name from classical Latin nothus bastard, cross-bred, spurious, counterfeit + fāgus beech, with allusion to the resemblance of the tree to the European beech.
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