Origin of banyan
- Short for banyan tree merchants' tree from Portuguese banian Hindu merchant from Gujarati vāṇiyo from Sanskrit vāṇijaḥ wen-1 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Portuguese baniano, from Arabic بنيان, from Gujarati વાણિયો (vāṇiyo, “merchant”), from Sanskrit वाणिज (vāṇijá), from earlier वणिज् (vaṇíj, “merchant, trader”). The name appears to have been first bestowed popularly on a famous tree of this species growing near Bandar Abbas, under which the Bannians or Hindu traders settled at that port, had built a little pagoda.