I just got a note from a friend in the Netherlands. she’s a fine oil painter and master teacher, and she blogs for artists who need advice. In today’s blog she says:
What isn’t prioritized, won’t result in real “produce” often
Her English is quite good but often awkward as in this case. She may not know that this noun use of produce usually means ‘vegetables.’ (or something ‘produced’ from a farm, but usually vegetables)
not sure what to substitute for the word ‘produce’ in her sentence. I suppose “won’t result in real ‘product(s)’”
that led me to ask why that which is produced from a farm became the noun “produce” and originally pronounced the way the verb is, rather than product. Hence Etymonline:
“thing or things produced,” 1690s, from produce (v.), and originally accented like it. Specific sense of “agricultural productions” (as distinguished from manufactured goods) is from 1745.
I don’t have access to OED so I’m missing some things along that route.
Again etymonline has for ‘product’
early 15c., “mathematical quantity obtained by multiplication,” from Medieval Latin productum, in classical Latin “something produced,” noun use of neuter past participle of producere “bring forth” (see produce (v.)). General sense of “anything produced” is attested in English from 1570s.
so it was available as a noun for that which is produced from a farm, but we’ve inherited it as “produce.”
I note that when I go to my barber, they now, as of the last decade or so, ask if I would like “product” in my hair after the cut.
I know that English is not logical, just interested that’s all.