Old English hunig, from Proto-Germanic *hunagam- (cf. Old Norse hunang, Swedish honung, Old Saxon huneg, Old Frisian hunig, Middle Dutch honich, Dutch honig, Old High German honang, German Honig "honey"); perhaps from PIE *k(e)neko- "yellow, golden" (cf. Sanskrit kancanum, Welsh canecon "gold"). The more common Indo-European word is represented by Gothic miliþ (from PIE *melith "honey;" see Melissa). A term of endearment from at least mid-14c. Meaning "anything good of its kind" is 1888, American English.