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Main Entry: 1date
Etymology: Middle English date "fruit of the palm," from early French date (same meaning), derived from Latin dactylus "date," from Greek daktylos "date," literally, "finger" 1: the oblong edible fruit of a tall Old World palm 2: the palm that produces dates -- called also date palm Word History The word date that means "the fruit of the palm" and the word date that means "the time of an event" look alike. They are not related to each other, though. And neither one is related to the word day. The word for the fruit can be traced back to the Greek word daktylos, originally meaning "finger" and "toe." No one knows just how the fruit came to be called by the word for finger. It may be because of its small size and shape or because of the long slender shape of the palm leaves. Or it may be that this word daktylos was the closest Greek word to the sound of a word for the fruit borrowed from another language. The word for "the time of an event" comes to us from Latin, but the Latin word did not mean either "day" or "time." Date derives from the Latin phrase data Romae, meaning "given at Rome," an expression used just before the date on letters and documents. The word data is from the Latin word dare "to give." In later Latin, the word data came to be used alone to stand for the date, and it came into English as date.