- melon (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. melon (13c.), from M.L. melonem (nom. melo), from L. melopeponem, a kind of pumpkin, from Gk. melopepon "gourd-apple" (name for several kinds of gourds bearing sweet fruit), from melon "apple" (see MALIC (Cf. malic)) + pepon, a kind of gourd, probably noun use of pepon "ripe" (see PUMPKIN (Cf. pumpkin)).In Greek, melon was used in a generic way for all foreign fruits (Cf. similar use of APPLE (Cf. apple)). The Greek plural of "melon" was used from ancient times for "a girl's breasts."
Etymology dictionary. 2014.