From Latin palumbus (“wood-pigeon, ringdove”), palumbes, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pal-wo (“dark-colored, gray”). The sense of "maize" or "corn" developed probably due to the similarity in appearance of a corn cob to the bird (a similar development occurred in Bulgarian or was calqued: гълъб (gǎlǎb, “dove”) and gǎlǎbi ("corn/maize")). Compare also Spanish and Galician carrizo (“reed; also wren; hornet”), which while unrelated, is another example of the semantic change between a word for a plant and animal. The original sense in Romanian was that of a pigeon or dove, but today the derived diminutive term porumbel is mostly used. The arrival of the crop occurred in the 1680s and spread quickly throughout the country, in areas where wheat was previously dominant.
porumb m (plural porumbi)