- the small, immature fruit of a variety of cucumber, used in pickling.
- Also called bur gherkin, gooseberry gourd, West Indian gherkin. the small, spiny fruit of a tropical vine, Cucumis anguria, of the gourd family, used in pickling.
- the plant yielding this fruit.
- a small pickle, especially one made from this fruit.
Origin of gherkin
Examples from the Web for gherkin
He says no one has ever seen a Gherkin blub; if they have to, they go and do it somewhere else.
You had to move your ears and say "Gherkin," then you were admitted to the trench.
What the devil's the use of "h" in gherkin, I'd like to know.Mark Twain's Speeches
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
A gherkin is always eaten with this, the chief food of India.Seven Legs Across the Seas
Anchovy and gherkin, cut into small diamonds, may be placed between.Dressed Game and Poultry la Mode
Harriet A. de Salis
- the immature fruit of any of various cucumbers, used for pickling
- a tropical American cucurbitaceous climbing plant, Cucumis anguria
- the small edible fruit of this plant
- the Gherkin an informal name for Swiss Re Tower
Word Origin and History for gherkin
small cucumber used for pickling, 1660s, from early modern Dutch gurken, augurken (late 16c.) "small pickled cucumber," from East Frisian augurk "cucumber," probably from a Balto-Slavic source (cf. Polish ogórek "cucumber"), possibly ultimately from Medieval Greek angourion "a kind of cucumber," said to be from Persian angarah [Klein, etc.], but OED seems to regard this as unlikely. A Dutch source says the Greek is from a word for "immature" and that the vegetable originated in northern India and came to Eastern Europe via the Byzantine Empire.
The Dutch suffix is perhaps the diminutive -kin, though some regard it as a plural affix, with the Dutch word mistaken for a singular in English. The -h- was added 1800s to preserve the hard "g" pronunciation.