In spite of the name, real estate has no connection with the concept of reality. It derives instead from the feudal principle that in a monarchy, all land was considered the property of the king. Thus originally the term real estate was equivalent to "royal estate", real originating from the French royale, as it was the French-speaking Normans who introduced feudalism to England in the 11th century and thus the English language; -The "royal" theory holds water because one of the best-known early citations is from 1666 (OED), a time when law french would have dominated discussions of land tenure. Logic also supports this view. Why modify "estate" with the Latin "res"...what other kinds of estate would there be? But, in land tenure, there are many kinds of estates and the distinction between the royal estate, church lands and foreign lands would have been useful.