Cypress is the name of a group of coniferous trees. It comes from Ancient Greek kupárissos (cypress; cypress wood) which derives from an unknown pre-Greek Mediterranean origin, perhaps related to Hebrew gopher/gofer, the name of the wood used to build Noah‘s ark. The cypress tree has a long history of symbolism in many cultures, symbolizing immortality, mourning, and hope, since it points to the heavens. It was considered as a “mournful tree” and cypress trees would be planted in cemeteries, believed to ward off evil spirits.
The Greek island of Cyprus may have gotten its name from the cypress tree.
Origin: likely pre-Greek