1794, from Fr., "fruit of the eggplant" (Solanum esculentum), dim. of auberge "a kind of peach," from Sp. alberchigo "apricot." But Klein derives the Fr. from Catalan alberginera, from Arabic al-badinjan "the eggplant," from Pers. badin-gan, from Skt. vatin-ganah. As a color like that of the eggplant fruit, it is attested from 1895.