Red Delicious and Golden Delicious are two of the most recognizable cultivars of apple. From their names, it seems like the words' etymologies would be fairly boring, but there are actually some interesting stories there. Red Delicious was discovered in 1872 by Iowan farmer Jesse Hiatt, who called it Hawkeye after the state's nickname. The rights were then sold to the Stark Brothers Nurseries, which began aggressively marketing it as Stark Delicious in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Gold Delicious was developed in the early twentieth century by West Virginian orchardist Anderson Mullins, who called it Mullin’s Yellow Seedling. He later sold the cultivar to Stark Brothers, which had the brilliant idea of advertising it opposite their other brand, killing two birds with one stone. So they renamed Stark Delicious to Red Delicious and then changed Mullin's Seedling to match, and the rest is history.
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.