I’ve had a post about coxes and cox orange pippin apples brewing for a while now, and seeing Beth’s post on apples has spurred me on to write it.
While we were watching the Head of the Charles Rowing regatta, Sabine asked where the word “cox” came from. I explained that it was short for coxswain, but I couldn’t get much further than that. Some google research was in order! Luckily, wikipedia has everything you need to know!
The coxswain (pronounced cox-ən; often called the cox or Coxs’n) is the person in charge of a boat,
particularly its navigation and steering. The etymology of the word
gives us a literal meaning of “boat servant” since it comes from cock, a cockboat or other small vessel kept aboard a ship, and swain, which can be rendered as boy, servant or attendant.
Then, of course there was the question of apples – Amy seemed to think they were called cox orange, I thought they were cox orange pippin, and Sabine knew there was a variety of apples in German called “Cox”. It turns out we were all right! (I like it when this happens). In Germany the apple’s called a Cox Orange, in English it’s a Cox Orange Pippin. It’s turns out that the apple is named for Richard Cox, who raised the first plant from a pip.