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Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal, on the origins of floral terms.

http://online.wsj.com/article/...od=djemEditorialPage

(Let me know if the link does not work properly, and I'll post the text directly.)


RJA
 
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Dandelion is quite interesting. As it says in the article it derives from the French "dent de lion" (lion's teeth). What I like is the fact that the English word is derived from the sound of the French word where the German word - Löwenzahn - is derived from the translation of the parts of the word.
 
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Dandelion

Funny they didn't mention that dandelion is a euphemism in French for the real name of the plant which is pisenlit 'piss-a-bed'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
Dandelion

Funny they didn't mention that dandelion is a euphemism in French for the real name of the plant which is pisenlit 'piss-a-bed'.


Which in turn is used in direct translation in some (including mine) regional slang variants for the plant.

Ain't language wonderful?
 
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So if dandelions are a natural diuretic (http://www.safesupplements.co.uk/why-dandelion-natural-diuretic.html), and if the Greeks use it often in salads (http://greekfood.about.com/od/soupsstews/r/horta.htm), then that explains a few things about my childhood...


RJA
 
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I think maybe dandelion is also called "pisalit" in French because of the way it smells. It's really not a very pleasing odor!

Wordmatic
 
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That was a very nice article, Robert. Thank you! Because of the downsizing of the Chicago Tribune (economics) they have stopped their linguistics column, and I miss it terribly.

In 2005 the word a day was " clock ," which is the downy flower-head of the dandelion.
 
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