One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The fruit of a kind of gourd, originally probably a kind of melon, Cucumis melo, in later use perhaps the pumpkin, a variety of Cucurbita pepo.
Old English. From classical Latin pepōn-, pepō (in post-classical Latin also pepon, 400) a water-melon or other gourd from ancient Greek πέπων a kind of gourd or melon eaten when ripe, use as noun (short for πέπων σίκυος, lit. a ripe cucumber) of πέπων (adjective) ripened, ripe, mellow from the base of πέσσειν (Attic πέττειν) to cook from the same Indo-European base as classical Latin coquere to cook.
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