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mushroom (n.) 
mid-15c., muscheron, musseroun (attested 1327 as a surname, John Mussheron), from Anglo-French musherun, Old French meisseron (11c., Modern French mousseron), perhaps from Late Latin mussirionem (nominative mussirio), though this might as well be borrowed from French. Barnhart says "of uncertain origin." Klein calls it "a word of pre-Latin origin, used in the North of France;" OED says it usually is held to be a derivative of French mousse "moss" (from Germanic), and Weekley agrees, saying it is properly "applied to variety which grows in moss," but Klein says they have "nothing in common." For the final -m Weekley refers to grogram, vellum, venom. Modern spelling is from 1560s.

Used figuratively for something or someone that makes a sudden appearance in full form from 1590s. In reference to the shape of clouds after explosions, etc., it is attested from 1916, though the actual phrase mushroom cloud does not appear until 1955.
What is the origin of the word "mushroom"?
This word's origins are contentious. What we do know is that it entered English in the mid-15th century as muscheron. Its immediate source was Anglo-French musherun, which comes from Old French moisseron. However, the Old French word's parentage is not known with certainty. Some link it to Late Latin mussirionem, which was the specific name for a particular type of mushroom, and the origin of the Latin word is not known. 

However, others derive moisseron from French mousse "moss" (yes, it is the source of English mousse "light, creamy dessert" AND "hair foam"). The Germanic languages have related words for "moss", all of which come ultimately from a Germanic root *musan, which was though to refer originally to "swamp" and then, by association, came to apply to moss growing in the swamp. Similarly, mushrooms usually prefer damp habitat. Interestingly, mossa, Latin for "moss", is thought to come from the Germanic source, which means that Late Latin mussirionem is probably related and the two major schools of thought on mushroom's etymology are not all that far apart.
The two major schools of thought on mushroom's etymology are not all that far apart.
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