Bell pepper is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum. Cultivars of the plant produce peppercorns which develop into fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, green and orange. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as "sweet peppers". Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European and Asian countries. Today, Mexico remains one of the major pepper producers in the world.
Today, the term "bell pepper" or "pepper" or "capsicum" is often used for any of the large bell shaped capsicum fruits, regardless of their color. In British English, the fruit is simply referred to as a "pepper", whereas in many Commonwealth of Nations countries, such as Australia, India, Malaysia and New Zealand, they are called "capsicum". Across Europe, the term "paprika", which has its roots in the word for pepper, is used—sometimes referred to by their color (e.g. "groene paprika", "gele paprika", in Dutch, which are green and yellow, respectively). Paprika also refers to the powdered spice made from the same fruit. In France it is called "poivron", with the same root as "poivre" (meaning "black pepper", or "piment." In Japan, the word ピーマン ("pîman," from the French) refers only to green bell peppers, whereas パプリカ ("papurika," from paprika) refers to bell peppers of other colors. In the United States and Canada, the fruit is often referred to simply as a "pepper" or referred to by color (e.g. "red pepper", "green pepper"), although the more specific term "bell pepper" is understood in most regions. Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables.
In parts of the U.S. around southern Ohio, Northeastern Pennsylvania and northern Kentucky the term "mangoes" (or "mangos") has sometimes been used to refer to bell peppers. However, as the actual mango fruit has become more common in the region, this usage has faded.
In Argentina it's called "Morrón", green and red bell peppers are usually found in small grocery stores, the yellow ones tend to be in the supermarket. Grilled, they may form part of the traditional barbecue of this country, called "Asado" (Castilian Spanish for 'grilled').