1771, from Sp./Sp. Amer. oregano,
from L. origanus, origanum,
from Gk. oreiganon,
"mountain" (see oread
) + ganos
"brightness, ornament." The older form of the word in Eng. was the L.-derived origanum
(c.1265), also origan
(c.1420). In Europe, the dried leaves of wild marjoram; in America, a different, and more pungent, shrub.