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Coquimella quam latini a colore prunum vocant, alii a multitudine enixi fructus nixam vocant et cetera ysidorus.


Coquimella AC efjp | Coquimela B Isidorus
a colore | ob colore Isidorus
prunum | p’mũ B
{prunum} vocant om. j
{nixam} vocant | uocat B | appellant Isidorus
et cetera | eciã ms. e


Coquimella: Latin speakers call this prunus {"plum"} after its colour {i.e. pruna "burning or live coal"}, but others call it nixa because of the large amount of fruit the tree brings forth {enixus "having produced strenuously"}, etc. according to Ysidorus.


Simon’s entry is a near verbatim quote from Isidore of Seville’s Etymologiae, 17, 7, 10 [[1]].

from Greek κοκκύμηλον /kokkýmēlon/, is a compound noun consisting of a first element related to κόκκος /kókkos/ {"grain, seed, (fruit) stone"} + μῆλον /mêlon/ {"apple or (generally) any treefruit"}. The word was adopted into Latin as coccymelum and in late Antiquity changed into a feminine noun often written coccimel(l)a or coquimel(l)a; in this last form the spelling with "qu" is an attempt to indicate a /k/ sound in cocci- because Latin speakers by then would tend to affricate this sound into /tš/ {i.e. the sound initially occurring in English "chest"}.

Latin prunus, attested since Cato, means "plum-tree" and prunum "fruit of the plum tree" i.e. "plum". Isidore’s derivation of prunus from pruna "{colour of} burning or live coal" is like most of his etymologies fanciful. Walde & Hofmann (1930-56: M-Z.379), s.v. prūnus list the word as a loan from Greek προῦμην /proûmēn/ "plum-tree" and προῦμνον /proûmnon/ "plum (fruit)", words thought to be themselves loaned from a donor language in Asia Minor.

or in its more classical form nyxa, is a variant of myxa, post-classical mixa, "a kind of plum-tree", taken from Greek μύξα /mýxa/ "sebesten (plum)" (LSJ). Walde & Hofmann (1940-56: M-Z.144), and Carnoy (1959: 184), s.v. myxa see the word as identical with μύξα /mýxa/ "mucus, mucous discharge", thus alluding to the soft fruit - Walde & Hofmann (1930-56): "weiche, schleimige Frucht" {i.e. "soft, mucilaginous fruit"}. Isidore’s derivation from (e)nixus is spurious but folk-etymology might have played a part in the change from initial /m/ to /n/, cf. Sofer (1930: 100), s.v. Nixa, who also quotes Spanish dialectal forms nisu and ñisu found in Asturias and Northern León. See also Nixa.

Botanical identification:

André (1985: 71), s.v. coccymēlum suggests the fruit of Prunus domestica L., - sometimes Prunus x domestica L - the "plum" [[2]]. P. domestica is a very variable fruit crop that has developed a large number of cultivars, that can be devided roughly into two groups: (i) the small-fruited damsons, etc and (ii) the larger fruited common European plums. Propagation relies almost entirely on grafting since cultivars produce generally offspring with fruit unfit for consumption.

Nixa really refers to Cordia myxa L, the "sebesten plum" [[3]], which is in no way related to the genus Prunus but its fruit can be perceived to be similar to some varieties of plum [[4]], [[5]].
According to Isidorus' Etymologiae, 17, ed. André (1981: 90-1), annotation 198, nixa had become the word for plum-tree in Spain by the time Isidore wrote his Etymologiae.
C. myxa was a relatively late arrival to the world of Greek and Roman Antiquity

WilfGunther (talk) 11:05, 15 October 2015 (BST)

See also: Coccimella, Damascena pruna, Nixa

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