Wikipedia says the word acorn (earlier akerne, and acharn) is related to the Gothic name akran, which had the sense of “fruit of the unenclosed land”. The word was applied to the most important forest produce, that of the oak. … The current spelling (emerged 15c.-16c.), derives from association with ac (Old English: “oak”) + corn. (from


The OED provides this tale: : The formal history of this word has been much perverted by ‘popular etymology.’ OE. æcern neut., pl. æcernu, is cogn. w. ONor. akarn neut. (Dan. agern, Norw. aakorn), Dutch aker ‘acorn,’ OHG. ackeran masc. and neut. (mod.G. ecker, pl. eckern) ‘oak or beech mast,’ Goth. akran ‘fruit,’ prob. a deriv. of Goth. akr-s, ONor. akr, OE. æcer ‘field,’ orig. ‘open unenclosed country, the plain.’

Hence akran appears to have been originally ‘fruit of the unenclosed land, natural produce of the forest,’ mast of oak, beech, etc., as in HG., extended in Gothic to ‘fruit’ generally, and gradually confined in Low G., Scand., and Eng., to the most important forest produce, the mast of the oak. (See Grimm, under Ackeran and Ecker.) In Ælfric’s Genesis xliv. 11, it had perhaps still the wider sense, a reminiscence of which also remains in the ME. akernes of okes.

Along with this restriction of application, there arose a tendency to find in the name some connexion with oak, OE. ác, north. akeaik. Hence the 15th and 16th c. refashionings ake-cornoke-cornake-hornoke-horn, with many pseudo-etymological and imperfectly phonetic variants. Of these the 17th c. literary acron seems to simulate the Gr. ἄκρον top, point, peak.

The normal mod. repr. of OE. æcern would be akernakren, or ? atchern as already in 4; the actual acorn is due to the 16th c. fancy that the word corn formed part of the name.  (from

Roots of such words do run deep, no? 😉

So, what is the acorn lore, symbolism, significance in your family, culture…future? Irregardless (as they say in the Commonwealth) have fun with it!


Here is a wonderful way to learn more about humans relationship to oaks:


If you order through Amazon, we’d appreciate your choosing to contribute toward the New England Acorn Cooperative, “A gathering Place For the Acorn Community” Thanks & blessings!