The courgette is also known as zucchini, and is a member of the same genus (cucurbits) as marrow, gherkin and cucumber. In fact the courgette is effectively a baby marrow - they are picked when very young, and about six inches in length, before the seeds are fully formed. Their firm flesh and delicate taste make a wonderful dish when fried in a little butter, or stir-fried with chicken and ginger. I also found a fascinating recipe for courgette flower fritters on my travels, too. One day, I will try it, if I ever manage to grow (or buy) that many flowers.
The species originates, as do almost all of the curcurbitae, in the New World, but they are now cultivated in their various forms all over the world.
The name orginates as a "diminutive of courge, gourd, from Old French cohourde, from Latin cucurbita" www.dictionary.com