Did You Know?

“Vanilla” comes from the latin word “Vagina”

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“Vanilla” comes from the latin word “Vagina”.

During Hernando Cortes’ conquest of the Aztec empire, his men discovered the vanilla plant and dubbed it vainilla, literally “little pod” or “little sheath,” from the Latin vagina, “sheath.” The conquistadors drew the name from the shape of the plants’ bodies, which need to be split open in order to extract the beans they enclose—still a bit of a stretch as they more closely resemble tough, dark string beans. Funny enough, the ‘70s slang sense of vanilla as “conventional” or “of ordinary sexual preferences” has nothing to do with its original etymology.

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