Old English plume "plum, plum tree," from an early Germanic borrowing (cf. Middle Dutch prume, Dutch pruim, Old High German pfluma, pfruma, German Pflaume) from Vulgar Latin *pruna, from Latin prunum "plum," from Greek prounon, later form of proumnon, of unknown origin, perhaps from an Asiatic language (Phrygian?). Also cf. prune (n.). Change of pr- to pl- is peculiar to Germanic. The vowel shortened in early modern English. Meaning "something desirable" is first recorded 1780, probably in reference to the sugar-rich bits of a plum pudding, etc.
: who recently got the plum job of heading the county's Department of Human Resourcesnoun
Something highly prized, esp an easy job with high pay and prestige, often given for political favors: The winners get to pick all the plums (1825+)
[probably influenced by Little Jack Horner's feat of reaching in his thumb and pulling out a plum (in fact a raisin); compare early 1800s British plummy, ''good, desirable'']