Etymology and history
The English word "mango" (plural "mangoes" or "mangos") originated from the Malayalam word māṅṅa (or mangga) via Dravidian-Tamil (mankay as man for mango tree and kay for fruit, or maangaay) during the spice trade period with South India in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The earliest known reference to the cultivation of mangoes can be traced to India up to 2000BCE Mango was brought to East Asia around 400–500 BCE, in the 15th century to the Philippines, and in the 16th century to Africa and Brazil by Portuguese explorers. There have been several verified accounts and novels with references to the mango fruit in Indian Tamil literary works, the most prominent known reference to the mango fruit being to the 5th century saint Karaikkal Ammaiyar, where it is mentioned that she received a mango fruit as a boon from Lord Shiva, due to her devotion when her husband requested it, after providing alms one out of two mangoes given by her husband earlier to an Ascetic, disguised as Lord Shiva.
Mango is mentioned by Hendrik van Rheede, the Dutch commander of the Malabar region in his 1678 book, Hortus Malabaricus, about plants having economic value. When mangoes were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century, they had to be pickled because of lack of refrigeration. Other fruits were also pickled and came to be called "mangoes", especially bell peppers, and in the 18th century, the word "mango" became a verb meaning "to pickle".