One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several tropical South American trees of the genus Caryocar (family Caryocaraceae), especially C. brasiliense of central Brazil, which has an oily edible fruit and seed, and occasionally (perhaps partly by confusion) the piquia, C. villosum. Also: the wood or fruit of any of these trees. Frequently attributive, as "pequi fruit", "pequi tree", etc.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Robert Southey (1774–1843), poet and reviewer. FromBrazilian Portuguese pequi from Tupi peki.
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