johnnae at mac.com
Wed Jul 28 04:15:30 PDT 2010
Ok for your files and for curiosity sake, there are 23 references to
banana or bananas in EEBO-TCP.
Here are some of the more interesting selections:
Chap. 1. Of the situation of the Royall Cittie of the Kingdome of
Other fruites there are, which they call Banana and we verily thinke
to be the Muses of Aegypt and Soria, sauing that in those countreyes
they growe to be as bigge as trees, but here they cut them yearely, to
the end they may beare the better, The fruit is very sweet in smell,
and of good nourishment. page 111
A report of the kingdome of Congo, a region of Africa. And of the
countries that border rounde about the same... Drawen out of the
writinges and discourses of Odoardo Lopez a Portingall, by Philippo
Pigafetta. Translated out of Italian by Abraham Hartwell. 1597.
CHAP. 136. Of Adams Apple tree, or the West-Indian Plantaine.
Musae fructus exactior Icon. An exacter figure of the Plantaine fruit.
This admirable tree groweth in Egypt, Cyprus, and Syria, neere vnto a
chiefe city there called Alep, which we call Aleppo, and also by
Tripolis, not far from thence: it groweth also in Cana|ra, Decan,
Guzarate, and Bengala, places of the East Indies.
From the root of this tree shooteth forth yong springs or shoots,
which the people take vp and plant for the increase in the Spring of
the yeare. The leaues wither away in September, as is aboue said.
It is called Musa by such as trauell to Aleppo: by the Arabians, Musa
Maum: in Syria, Mose: The Grecians and Christians which inhabit Syria,
and the Iewes also, suppose it to be that tree of whose fruit Adam did
taste; which others thinke to be a ridiculous fable: of Pliny, Opuntia.
It is called in the East Indies (as at Malauar where it also groweth)
Palan: in Malayo, Pican: and in that part of Africa which we call
Ginny, Bananas: in English, Adams Apple tree.
Gerard, John, 1545-1612., Johnson, Thomas, d. 1644. The herball or
Generall historie of plantes. Gathered by Iohn Gerarde of London
Master in Chirurgerie very much enlarged and amended by Thomas Iohnson
citizen and apothecarye of London. 1633
OED lists this as the earliest for the fruit.
1563 Garcia de Orta Simples e Drogues 93 b, Tambem ha estes figos em
Guiné, chamam lhe bananas;
Plantain turns up much earlier in the OED as it was the name of some
herbs (greater plantain with broad flat leaves) and a form known as
long plantain. There was also a bastard plantain.
Here are some 16th century mentions. (There are some dating back
1516 Grete Herbal cccxliv, Plantayne or weybrede..is an herbe that ye
greke call arnoglosse. It is called also..grete plantayne, and groweth
in moyst places & playne feldes;
ribwort p., P. lanceolata.
1516 Grete Herbal cccxlv, Delanceolata... Longe plantayne is good
agaynst fystales, yf the iuce be put in them dyuers dayes, it healeth
and sleeth them.
1592 Shaks. Rom. & Jul; i. ii.
Romeo. Your Plantan leafe is excellent for that.
Ben. For what I pray thee?
Romeo. For your broken shin.
--There's also a meaning associated with plane trees.
Lastly is the definition "tree-like tropical herbaceous plant (Musa
paradisiaca) closely allied to the Banana (M. sapientum)" and the
fruit of this plant.
1555 Eden Decades ii. 197 (tr. of Italian version, 1534, of Oviedo's
Spanish, 1526) There are also certeine plantes which the christians
1555 Eden Decades 197 This cluster owght to bee taken from the
plant, when any one of the Platans begynne to appere yelowe.
1589 Parke tr. Mendoza's Hist. China (Hakl. Soc.) II. 330 Orange
trees, siders, limas, plantanos, and palmas.
1604 E. G[rimstone] D'Acosta's Hist. Indies iv. (Hakl. Soc.) I. 241
The first that shall be needefulle to treate of is the Plantain, or
Plantano, as the vulgar call it... The reason why the Spaniards call
it platano (for the Indians had no such name) was, as in other trees,
for that they have found some resemblance of the one with the other,
even as they called some fruites prunes, pines, and cucumbers, being
far different from those which are called by those names in Castille.
1634 Sir T. Herbert Trav. 183 Bananas or Plantanes.
hope this helps
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