In 1862, volume 94 of the publication The North American review wrote on page 384:
"We are told that the use of the common white poppy as a soother of pain and giver of sleep, has been familiar from the earliest times; and an ingenious attempt has been made to derive the name poppy, or papaver, from papa or pap, because the plant was commonly mixed with the food of young children, to secure their sleep. This is one of those etymological postulates more ingenious than probable."Nearly a hundred-and-fifty years later, I still can't get a straight answer on the origin of Latin papāver. If it somehow were to have something to do with the nursery term pāpa for 'food' (cf. pāpārium 'pap') as implied above, and even ignoring that such a semantic link is trying in itself, how would this poppy word have been grammatically formed from such a root? There are oddly only five terms in the Latin dictionary on Perseus ending in -ver (excluding vēr itself) which could suggest that the word was loaned from elsewhere, yet if so, establishing its source so far eludes me. What a frustrating word.