Linguistics Asked on October 23, 2021
I’ve been curiously browsing wikipedia today. The word Geneva, besides the city and Canton, is also used to refer to a type of Gin that’s made there, and to any other kind of Gin as a generified word.
Based on my "research", gin is named after juniper bushes, which are used in its flavoring.
One might think that there’s a casual relationship between the names gin and Geneva, but Wikipedia says that the "Gen" in Geneva comes from a bend in the river in that city.
Is it a coincidence that Geneva sounds similar to gin while also referring to gin?
Gin is abbreviation from genever, originally Dutch, where the word means "juniper". The original drink was made from fermented juniper berries in the Netherlands. The word genever (juniper) derives from Latin iūniperus via its French version genevre. Geneva is ultimately from Latin Genāva, with the etymology you pointed, and unrelated to iūniperus.
That said, the similarity between the two words led to people making puns and jokes even in the 17th century, like "reading Geneva print" meaning "to get drunk".
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