The deep red color burgundy was named in the late nineteenth century after the eponymous type of pinot noir, which in turn was named in the 1670s after the region of France that it's produced in. That comes from Medieval Latin Burgundia and French Bourgogne, which also described the general geographic area. Eventually, it all traces to Proto-Germanic Burgundi, which literally meant "highlander" and developed from Proto-Indo-European bhergh, "high". Other words that come from this root include borough, bourgeoisie, burglar, burgher, and the suffix in iceberg. In the eighteenth century, burgundy could also refer to a type of swanky headdress for women, but that definition has mostly died out. According to Google Ngrams, literary usage of capital-B Burgundy has been declining since the 1700s, while usage of lower-case burgundy has been on the increase lately.
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.