How did "coffee" get its name?
Posted by Tewodros Fekadu on December 28, 2014 . 0 Comments
So where does the word "coffee" come from? Good question. The truth of the matter is that no one seems to definitively know.
What we do know is that it is generally agreed that the word coffee was introduced into European languages, most likely via the Italian term caffe in the late 1500s - early 1600s. But where did the Italians get the word?
Well, this is where the conjecture starts, but one theory is that the term is rooted in the Ethiopian word for coffee bean, bunna, which morphed into the Arabic phrase Gahhwat al-Bun meaning wine of the bean, which was then shortened to Gahwa/Kahway/Qahwa, then to the Turkish word Kahve, which the Italians changed into caffe and finally it became the English term coffee.
Another simpler thought is that the term derives from the name for a region of Ethiopia called Kaffa - home to the Mankira forest and birthplace of coffee - but this remains an arguable one given that the word for coffee in Ethiopia is bunna.
However the name coffee was derived, we are just glad to be able to get our fix of the good stuff each day!