The modern type of grenade as we know it wasn't invented until 1914, but the word could refer to various kinds of explosive shells as early as 1590. Before that, it gets wild: the word meant "pomegranate", and the definition was extended because of a perceived physical resemblance. In Middle French, it was spelled granate, and in Old French, it was stylized pomme granate, which literally translates to "apple having grains", again due to a shared appearance. Pomme granate in turn is from Latin pomum granatum, composed of pome, "apple", and granum, meaning "grain". Pome was named after Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits, and granum comes from Proto-Indo-European grhnos, which also meant "grain". Usages of both the words grenade and pomegranate have been generally increasing since the twentieth century.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a rising junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.