Word Origin & History
17c., false singular from M.E. pease (pl. pesen), which was both single and collective (e.g. wheat, corn) but was mistaken for a plural, from O.E. pise (W.Saxon), piose (Mercian) "pea," from L.L. pisa, variant of L. pisum "pea," from Gk. pison, perhaps of Thracian or Phrygian origin. Pea soup is first
recorded 1711 (pease-soup); applied to London fogs since at least 1849. In Breton, piz, lit. "peas," also means "stingy," perhaps as a semantic borrowing of Fr. chiche "stingy," lit. "small," which also happens to be a homonym of chiche "peas." The Fr. word for small ultimately may be from L. ciccum, the same root as the word for "peas."