One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, East Asian
The barberry, Berberis vulgaris (more fully "pipperidge bush", "pipperidge tree").
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in William Turner (d. 1568), naturalist and religious controversialist. Origin uncertain. Probably a transferred use of Anglo-Norman piperounge, piperonge, peperonge, poperouge rose hip, of uncertain origin: perhaps from either Old French pepin seed of fleshy fruit or Anglo-Norman peple, pople, pueple wild plum, bullace + rouge red, or perhaps from post-classical Latin berberis + a suffix of uncertain origin.
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