early 14c., plural of quoyn, from O.Fr. cooin, from L. cotoneum malum "quince fruit," probably a variant of cydonium malum, from Gk. kydonion malon "apple of Kydonia" (modern Khania), ancient seaport city in Crete. The plant is native to Persia, Anatolia, and Greece; the Greeks imported grafts for their native plants from a superior strain in Crete, hence the name. Kodu- was also the Lydian name for the fruit.