1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kernel

KERNEL (O.E. cyrnel, a diminutive of “corn,” seed, grain), the soft and frequently edible part contained within the hard outer husk of a nut or the stone of a fruit; also used in botany of the nucleus of a seed, the body within its several integuments or coats, and generally of the nucleus or core of any structure; hence, figuratively, the pith or gist of any matter.