One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A cultivated variety of plum; especially the greengage.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in John Evelyn (1620–1706), diarist and writer. From French Reine Claude (now usually reine-Claude), short for prune de la reine Claude from prune plum + de + la, feminine definite article + reine queen + the name of Claude, daughter of Louis XII and wife of King François I, Queen of France from 1515. The plum was so named in honour of Queen Claude; it was common in early modern France for noteworthy varieties of fruit to be named in honour of queens and other members of the nobility.
Reine Claude/ˌreɪn ˈkləʊd//ˌrɛn ˈkləʊd/
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