The word garbanzo came from Spanish in the seventeenth century and was originally spelled garavance or caravance. That has an unknown origin, but both of the main theories are quite interesting. One possibility is that it could be from the Basque word garbantzu, which was composed of their words for "seed", garau, and "dry", antzu. Those would be from Proto-Basque, a non-Indo-European language. The other, somewhat less plausible contention is that the term could somehow trace to Ancient Greek erebinthe, which had the same meaning and equally murky origins. The words chickpea and garbanzo were approximately equal in usage up until the 1970s, when the food item became more commercially popular and chickpea overtook its counterpart by a lot to become more used.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior 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.