One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Tahitian. Now only with reference to plants associated with Tahiti.
= Otaheite cane.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Joseph Banks (1743–1820), naturalist and patron of science. From Otaheite, former name in English of the Pacific island of Tahiti, a misinterpretation of Tahitian ʽo, focus marker + Tahiti, the name of the island.
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