I like the English names of fruits and vegetables- plum, cherry, apple, banana, grape, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, peas, potato and so on. The names are cute and lyrical. They tempt us to eat fruits and vegetables.
What I find intriguing is the name 'lady's finger' given to a vegetable. This is unique- very unlike the names given to other vegetables and fruits. It is a tribute to the tenderness of women and imparts a lot of respectability to this not-so-acclaimed vegetable.
I tried to find out the name of the great thinker who came up with this unique name, but greatness is often accompanied by anonymity. I am sure, the person who named the vegetable 'lady's finger' must have been a contented person, a great observer and a romantic by heart. Perhaps, he did not get time to extend his ingenuity to other vegetables. But we should be thankful for whatever little he could accomplish. Let me clarify here what I should have done much earlier. I am absolutely sure that the name was coined by a man and not by a woman.
I have a feeling that the name may have played a part in saving the vegetable from extinction. The vegetable is so tasty that only a scary name could have saved it from extinction. One would think a hundred times before biting a lady's finger, leave alone eating it. The consequences could be disastrous.
This also makes me think that if the vegetable had been named 'husband's finger', the situation could have been quite the reverse. Many would have gleefully cut it into pieces, fried it and eaten it. The vegetable would have definitely gone extinct.
Shakespeare was wrong in asking, 'what is in a name?' He should have met the person who coined the name ' lady's finger'.