coffee

\ \ [16] The word coffee first reached us in a form which we would now recognize in the 17th century, probably via Italian caffè. It is ultimately, however, of Middle Eastern origin, and the earliest spellings recorded in English reflect this: chaoua, cauwa, kahue, cahve, etc are modelled closely on Turkish kahveh and its source, Arabic qahwah. Where the Arabic word came from is not known for certain: probably it is based in some way on Kaffa, the name of an area in the south Abyssinian highlands from which the coffee tree is said to originate, but it has also been claimed to have signified originally some sort of wine. Café [19] comes of course from French café, whose source was Italian caffè. From the French word was derived caféine, from which English gets caffeine [19], while Spanish café produced cafeterocoffeeseller’, source of English cafeteria [20].
\ \ Cf.CAFÉ, CAFFEINE, CAFETERIA

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • coffee — c.1600, from It. caffe, from Turk. kahveh, from Arabic qahwah coffee, said originally to have meant wine, but perhaps rather from Kaffa region of Ethiopia, a home of the plant (coffee in Kaffa is called buno, which was borrowed into Arabic as… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • coffee — [kôf′ē, käf′ē] n. [It caffè < Turk qahwe < Ar qahwa, coffee, said to be after Kaffa, area in Ethiopia, home of the plant] 1. a dark brown, aromatic drink made by brewing in water the roasted and ground beanlike seeds of a tall tropical… …   English World dictionary

  • coffee —   , coffee, tea    Samuel Pepys recorded his first cup of tea on 25 September 1660, and also reported that the apothecary told his wife it would be good for her, for her cold and defluxions (28 June 1667). The first known reference to reading… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Coffee [1] — Coffee (Waarenk.), so v. w. Kaffee …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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