The word parchment was first recorded in the early fourteenth-century romantic epic Beves of Hamtoun, when it was spelled parchemin. Other alternations throughout the ages included parchmen, parchemyne, parchmine, parchemet, parchement, and parchemyn until parchment was standardized during the fifteenth century. The word is not related to parch nor the noun-forming suffix -ment (although the t got added through folk etymological confusion with the latter); through Old French, it actually traces to the Latin word pergamena and the Ancient Greek term Pergamon, which described a city in western Anatolia where the papyrus substitute material is thought to have been invented. That's supposedly named after Pergamus, a mythological warrior who founded the city.
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.