turmeric (n.)
pungent powder made from the root of an East Indian plant, 1530s, altered from Middle English turmeryte (early 15c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Middle French terremérite "saffron," from Medieval Latin terra merita, literally "worthy earth," though the reason why it would be called this is obscure. Klein suggests it might be a folk-etymology corruption of Arabic kurkum "curcuma, saffron."