strawberry: [OE] The origins of strawberry have long puzzled etymologists. The two most plausible suggestions put forward are that the runners put out by strawberry plants, long trailing shoots that spread across the ground, reminded people of straws laid on the floor; and that word preserves a now defunct sense of straw, ‘small piece of straw or chaff’, supposedly in allusion to the fruit’s ‘chafflike’ external seeds.
Old English streawberige, streaberie; see straw + berry. There is no corresponding compound in other Germanic languages; the reason for the name is uncertain, but perhaps it is in reference to the tiny chaff-like external seeds which cover the fruit. A cognate Old English name was eorðberge "earth-berry" (compare Modern German erdbeere). As a color adjective from 1670s. Strawberry blonde is attested from 1884. Strawberry mark (1847) so called for its resemblance.