I've always noticed an orthographic similarity between the Spanish word uvas, meaning "grapes", and the English word uvula, meaning "that dangly thing in the back of your mouth". Turns out this is no coincidence! In the 1300s CE, uvula was borrowed from the Latin word uvola, meaning "small bunch of grapes", because of an apparent similarity between the physical characteristics of the fruit and what the uvula actually looks like. Uvola is a diminutive of the earlier word uva, which referred to a singular grape and is the direct etymon of the aforementioned Spanish word, and its Italian and Portuguese cognates. There are two theories after this: uva could be from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction weg, meaning "wet", or another PIE root, og, which meant "berry". Usage of the word uvula in literature was seven times more frequent around 1800 than today, but Spanish uva has been relatively constant in that time.
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 University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd