Word Origin & History
c.1350, from O.Fr. sicamor, from L. sycomorus, from Gk. sykomoros, from sykon "fig" + moron "mulberry." Or perhaps a folk-etymology for Heb. shiqmah "mulberry." A Biblical word, originally used for a species of fig tree (Ficus sycomorus) common in Egypt, Syria, etc., whose leaves somewhat resemble those
of the mulberry; applied from 1588 to Acer pseudoplatanus, a large species of European maple, and from 1814 to the North American shade tree that is also called buttonwood (Platanus occidentalis, introduced to Europe from Virginia 1637 by Filius Tradescant). Some writers have used the more Hellenic sycomore in ref. to the Biblical tree for the sake of clarity.