Word origin: AVOCADO Balls to you sir

What could be more wholesome and innocuous than an avocado? Beloved of Instagrammers and health food aficionados alike, this versatile fruit has seen its global popularity soar in recent years. But you might be surprised to find out that the origins behind the name of this knobbly green beauty are anything but virtuous…

Avocados are native to South America. In the local Nahuatl language, the word for avocado isāhuacatl. The word has another meaning in that language – testicle. Our version of the word comes straight from the original isāhuacatl, via the Spanish aguacate.

When you see ripe avocados growing on a tree it’s not difficult to see why the name of the fruit also became a euphemism for the family jewels. Something to consider next time you’re tucking into some crushed avo on sourdough toast.


Posted in Etymology