One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Eurasian tree of the rose family, closely related to the rowan.
Genus Sorbus, family Rosaceae: the southern European true service tree (S. domestica), with compound leaves and green-brown fruits that are edible when overripe, and the wild service tree (S. torminalis), with lobed leaves and brown berries
Mid 16th century: service from an alteration of the plural of obsolete serve, from Old English syrfe, based on Latin sorbus.
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