- pine (n.)
- "coniferous tree," Old English pin (in compounds), from Old French pin and directly from Latin pinus "pine, pine-tree, fir-tree," which is perhaps from a PIE *pi-nu-, from root *peie- "to be fat, swell" (see fat (adj.)). If so, the tree's name would be a reference to its sap or pitch. Compare Sanskrit pituh "juice, sap, resin," pitudaruh "pine tree," Greek pitys "pine tree." Also see pitch (n.1). Pine-top "cheap illicit whiskey," first recorded 1858, Southern U.S. slang. Pine-needle (n.) attested from 1866.
Most of us have wished vaguely & vainly at times that they knew a fir from a pine. As the Scotch fir is not a fir strictly speaking, but a pine, & as we shall continue to ignore this fact, it is plain that the matter concerns the botanist more than the man in the street. [Fowler]
- pine (v.)
- Old English pinian "to torture, torment, afflict, cause to suffer," from *pine "pain, torture, punishment," possibly ultimately from Latin poena "punishment, penalty," from Greek poine (see penal). A Latin word borrowed into Germanic (Middle Dutch pinen, Old High German pinon, German Pein, Old Norse pina) with Christianity. Intransitive sense of "to languish, waste away," the main modern meaning, is first recorded early 14c. Related: Pined; pining.