- See under ben2.
Origin of ben oil
First recorded in 1585–95
- the seed of a tropical tree, Moringa pterygosperma, that yields an oil (ben oil) used in manufacturing cosmetics and lubricating delicate machinery.
Compare horseradish tree.
Origin of ben2
First recorded in 1550–60, ben is from the Arabic word bān
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- an inner room in a house or cottage
- in; within; inside; into the inner part (of a house)
Compare but 2
Old English binnan, from be- + innan inside
- any of several Asiatic trees of the genus Moringa, esp M. oleifera of Arabia and India, whose seeds yield oil of ben, used in manufacturing perfumes and cosmetics, lubricating delicate machinery, etc: family Moringaceae
- the seed of such a tree
C15: from Arabic bān
- Scot and Irish a mountain peak (esp in place names)Ben Lomond
C18: from Gaelic beinn, from beann
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for ben oil
"mountain peak" in Celtic place names (especially of roughly pyramidal peaks standing alone), from Gaelic beinn, from Old Irish *benno- "peak, horn, conical point," from PIE root *bend- "projecting point."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper