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Postby Perry » Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:06 am

rai·sin [ ráyz'n ] (plural rai·sins)

dried grape: a sweet grape that has been dried in the sun or by being processed with heat, usually to prevent spoiling and permit long-term storage
[14th century. Via French, "grape" < Latin racemus "bunch, cluster"]

c.1300, from Anglo-Fr. raycin (1278), O.Fr. raisin "grape, raisin," from V.L. *racimus, alteration of L. racemus "cluster of grapes or berries," probably from the same ancient lost Mediterranean language as Gk. rhax (gen. rhagos) "grape, berry."

It is interesting that in English a word that already means grape is relegated to the narrow role of dried grapes.
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Postby sluggo » Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:03 pm

While picking grapes in the French wine harvest eons ago I learnt that raisin is French for grape, while grappe means a bunch of 'em.

What we call a "raisin" (a depraved dereliction which will at long last be declared illegal as my first act upon being crowned Emporer*) is a raisin à sec (dry grape).

*Gail has dibs on the papacy but a number of cabinet posts (must bring own drawers) are still open for a reasonable fee.
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