E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Used in the Middle Ages for corks (Orlando Furioso, x. 106); used also for a cup or bottle. (French, gourde; Latin, cucurbita.)
Jonahs gourd [kikiven], the Palma Christi, called in Egypt kki. Niebuhr speaks of a specimen which he himself saw near a rivulet, which in October rose eight feet in five months time. And Volney says, Wherever plants have water the rapidity of their growth is prodigious. In Cairo, he adds, there is a species of gourd which in twentyfour hours will send out shoots four inches long. (Travels, vol. i. p. 71.)