A long time ago, the Akkadians associated the phoneme karsu with the morpheme concerning trees bearing tiny fruits. The rest is history, as the word passed into Anatolian and then Greek (following geographical lines, I might add), as kerasos and specifically applying to the bird cherry tree. This logically created another noun, that of kerasion, or "cherry", as an -ion suffix was affixed. As many Greek words did, this passed into Latin, and as all Greek words with a k that pass in to Latin change into a word with a c, as did did kerasion, which became the word cerasium, later ceresium. In Vulgar Latin, this became ceresia, and in Old Northern French it became cherise (nothing to do with mon cheri). This then became a loanword as it crossed the English channel to become cherise, and here people began to use it daily until someone along the line "realized" that this was a plural, and that was incorrect, so that person decided to abridge it to something like cherri, which became cherry in due course. Folk etymology fools us again! A thousand curses. The slang for cherry meaning "a woman's virginity" is a vulgar term from the nineteenth century, and still much less in usage than the meaning of "type of fruit", thankfully.
Adam Aleksic is a 220-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard College in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd