Word Origin & History
O.E. pipor, from an early W.Gmc. borrowing of L. piper, from Gk. piperi, probably (via Persian) from Middle Indic pippari, from Skt. pippali "long pepper." The L. word is the source of Ger. Pfeffer, It. pepe, Fr. poivre, O.C.S. pipru, Lith. pipiras, O.Ir. piobhar, Welsh pybyr, etc. Application to fruits
of the capsicum family (unrelated, originally native of tropical America) is 16c. The verb meaning "to sprinkle as with pepper" is from 1612. Peppermint is first attested 1696.