The way words get added to a language is an endlessly fascinating topic. Most English root words originate from Latin and Greek, but we also excel at borrowing from languages around the world.
Some of our words are just weird, though. For instance, “pineapple.” Rather than calling the delicious yellow fruit with pokey leaves “ananas” like most of the world, our ancestors apparently took a look at one and decided, “Eh, kinda looks like a pinecone. But it’s clearly a fruit. How about we call it a ‘pineapple’?”
A video creator who goes by @thejazzemu made a hilarious song exploring what would happen if we named other words the way we named “pineapple”—by combining two words with “minimal conceptual link”—and it’s a silly feast of musical and etymological brilliance.
Take the word “curtain” and change it into “windowwink.” So much more fun and descriptive. What about calling a banana a “hotdoglemon” instead? Utterly delightful.
Watch how the Jazz Emu pineapple-izes several English words in a clever, catchy and chaotically over-the-top song:
The most OFFENSIVE word in the English Language? #offense #word #language #cancelculture #pineapple #linguistics #fyp #foryou #help
People have tuned in millions of times to view the video, and the comments on YouTube explain why.
“Morninggravel almost made me spit out my morninggravel,” wrote Steve.
“This is my favorite sound-dance. When I’m on the poop-throne, in the rain-box, or at my money-slaver, I enjoy listening to it. Gets the meat-paddle-tips tapping,” wrote Joshua Shupe.
“‘When every other language said ananas English panicked and mentally combined the concept of a pine cone with frikkin’ apple’ is a structurally-delicious sentence,” shared Ashanna Redwolf.
“Damn….why is this song so catchy? Also, why am I so entranced by this ‘dance’ that goes along with it?” wrote ChrisJMP88.
Seriously, though. We need a full-length version on Spotify, please.
Believe it or not, the actual history of the word “pineapple” is even weirder than what is relayed here. According to Merriam-Webster, the seeded part of a pine tree that we now refer to as a pinecone actually used to be called a “pineapple.” Yes, really. So the word pineapple actually predates pinecone—it just happened to stick to the fruit.
Why would a pinecone be called a pineapple in the first place? Merriam-Webster explains that the practice of calling any foreign fruit, vegetable or nut an “apple” stems from ancient times. For example, a peach was first known as a “Persian apple,” and a pomegranate’s initial name meant “an apple with many seeds.” So even though a pinecone wasn’t technically a fruit, it was still referred to as a “pineapple”…that is until it became a pinecone and the fruit forever claimed “pineapple” for itself.
Words are just so wacky. I vote that we just call things whatever we want and let people figure out what we mean.