peel, rind

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Peel and rind both seem to describe the covering of fruit. Why do we have two completely different words and where did they come from?
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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    From my experience:

    Melons have a rind
    Citrus fruits and bananas have peels.
    Apples and plums have a skin.

    I don't know what a pineapple has.
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I'd be inclined to call it a husk - but I don't have a clear explanation.
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    The noun "peel" only dates from around 1580 CE, and originates from "pill" or "pile". The original origins are Latin, both relating to hair and to skin or hide.

    "Rind" comes via Old English "rinde", meaning "bark, crust". It began to be applied to fruit around 1400 CE. Prior to that, the word had Dutch and Germanic origins.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Peels are cut off from the outside - peel is a verb as well as a noun. They are thin, flexible, not skeletal or structural, wet.
    Apples and potatoes and oranges and grapes have peels, and one peels them on occasion - taking very thin slices of indefinite shape and length with a sharp, small knife or specialized tool for not cutting too deep. Paint peels.

    Rinds are thicker, tougher, multilayered, quasi-structural, wet, often carved away from the inside. They hold their shape, with limited flex, but are not brittle.
    Melons have rinds, as do cheeses, gourmet hams and bacon, etc. (and pineapples, btw).

    Husks are tough fibrous integuments. They are dead, dry, outermost, shreddy, flexible, not structural. Tree nuts, coconuts, maize, ground cherries, etc. (The tree nut husks are outside the shells, usually removed before sale)

    Shells are hard, rigid, brittle, often mineralized, often structural.
    From a wordsmith's "consistency is a virtue" pov:
    The zest is part of the lemon rind - just the thin, colored, outermost layer. The peel would be - in precise hands - the next thicker layer of the rind, the "skin" including the zest but not the inner pulpy layers. The rind would then be the entire covering of the fruit down to the juice segments. In less precise hands, the rind and the peel would be the same thing.
    These people disagree, from a base in real world knowledge:

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