I discovered today that the kiwifruit is known as 獼猴桃 (míhóu táo) or macaque peach in China. It is the edible berry of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa native to southern China, and the name kiwifruit was dreamt up by marketing people in New Zealand in the 1950s, before which it was called the Chinese gooseberry in English.
In Chinese it’s also called:
- 獼猴梨 (míhóu lí) – macaque pear
- 藤梨 (téng lí) – vine pear
- 陽桃 (yáng táo) – sunny peach – now used to refer to star fruit
- 木子 (mùzi) – wood berry
- 毛木果 (máo mù guǒ) – hairy tree fruit
- 奇異果 (qíyì guǒ) -”unusual/wonder fruit” – the most common name in Taiwan and Hong Kong, which also sounds like kiwi
Many other languages call it a kiwi, or variants of that name, eg kivi, kiivi, ciwi, etc. Do you know of any other interesting names for it?
If you want to talk about more than one of this type of fruit, do you say kiwis, kiwifruit, kiwifruits, or something else?