lem·on (lmn) KEY
Middle English limon, from Old French, from Old Italian limone, from Arabic laymn, lmn, from Persian lmn
Although we know neither where the lemon was first grown nor when it first came to Europe, we know from its name that it came to us from the Middle East because we can trace its etymological path. One of the earliest occurrences of our word is found in a Middle English customs document of 1420-1421. The Middle English word limon goes back to Old French limon, showing that yet another delicacy passed into England through France. The Old French word probably came from Italian limone, another step on the route that leads back to the Arabic word laymn or lmn, which comes from the Persian word lmn.