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Marketing coinage, likely an altered pronunciation of the Mandarin gǒuqǐ (枸杞). The earliest known usage in print was in a 1996 publication by Stephen Arlin, Fouad Dini, and David Wolfe. The first usage in the LexisNexis database is in an August 21, 2002 newspaper article by John Griffin entitled "Uncooked food trend raises hopes, casts doubts".[1] Wider usage began in 2003 and 2004.[2]



goji (plural goji)

  1. The wolfberry, a fruit in the genus Lycium, especially in commercial products where it is promoted as a superfruit.

Usage notes[edit]

The UK Food Standards Agency notes: ‘[It has been] suggested that the name "goji" was originally applied only to the species L. [Lycium] chinensis and should not be used for L. barbarum. However, it appears that "goji" is widely understood in the UK to refer to the latter species [] .’


  1. ^ San Antonio Express-News, p. 1F
  2. ^ Google Books chronologically restricted search