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borrowed from French, originally a kind of bonbon manufactured by the Parisian confectioner Siraudin (probably after Les Ganaches, a play by Victorien sardou first performed in October, 1862), literally, "lower jaw of a horse, jowl, imbecile," borrowed from Italian (Tuscan) ganascia "jaw, jowl," central Italian ganassa, going back to Vulgar Latin (northern and central Italy) *ganassa, re-formation (with gender conformed to the source noun) of Greek gnȧthos "jaw" (attested in Medieval Latin of Italy as ganathos) — more at -gnathous
The French word occurs in a list of bonbon varieties produced by "la maison Siraudin" ("Courrier de la mode," LʼIllustration, journal universel, vol. 44, no. 1139, 24 décembre 1864, p. 415): "Les bonbons preférés sont: le Maltais, la Praline du club, la Praline Livry, au sucre de violette, lʼÉmélie, lʼOrangine, puis les Ganaches, qui eurent presque le succès de la pièce de Victorien Sardou, etc., etc." ("The preferred bonbons are: the Maltese, the Club Praline, the Praline Livry, with violet sugar, the Émélie, the Orangine, then the Ganaches, which had nearly the success of Victorien Sardouʼs play, etc., etc."). The Ganache bonbon is cited in English in a list of popular French bonbons, others of which are named after successful operas and plays of the period ("Bonbons," Every Saturday: A Journal of Choice Reading, vol. 7, nol. 163, February 13, 1869, pp. 220-21).