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Old English hunig, from Proto-Germanic *hunagam- (cf. Old Norse hunang, Swedish honung, Old Saxon huneg, Old Frisian hunig, Middle Dutch honich, Dutch honig, Old High German honang, German Honig "honey"); perhaps from PIE *k(e)neko- "yellow, golden" (cf. Sanskrit kancanum, Welsh canecon "gold"). The more common Indo-European word is represented by Gothic miliþ (from PIE *melith "honey;" see Melissa). A term of endearment from at least mid-14c. Meaning "anything good of its kind" is 1888, American English.
mid-14c., from honey (n.). Related: Honeyed; honeying.
(1.) Heb. ya'ar, occurs only 1 Sam. 14:25, 27, 29; Cant. 5:1, where it denotes the honey of bees. Properly the word signifies a forest or copse, and refers to honey found in woods. (2.) Nopheth, honey that drops (Ps. 19:10; Prov. 5:3; Cant. 4:11). (3.) Debash denotes bee-honey (Judg. 14:8); but also frequently a vegetable honey distilled from trees (Gen. 43:11; Ezek. 27:17). In these passages it may probably mean "dibs," or syrup of grapes, i.e., the juice of ripe grapes boiled down to one-third of its bulk. (4.) Tsuph, the cells of the honey-comb full of honey (Prov. 16:24; Ps. 19:10). (5.) "Wild honey" (Matt. 3:4) may have been the vegetable honey distilled from trees, but rather was honey stored by bees in rocks or in trees (Deut. 32:13; Ps. 81:16; 1 Sam. 14:25-29). Canaan was a "land flowing with milk and honey" (Ex. 3:8). Milk and honey were among the chief dainties in the earlier ages, as they are now among the Bedawin; and butter and honey are also mentioned among articles of food (Isa. 7:15). The ancients used honey instead of sugar (Ps. 119:103; Prov. 24:13); but when taken in great quantities it caused nausea, a fact referred to in Prov. 25:16, 17 to inculcate moderation in pleasures. Honey and milk also are put for sweet discourse (Cant. 4:11).