One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The stag bush, Viburnum prunifolium, of the south-eastern United States; the edible blue-black fruit of this plant. Also: a medicinal preparation of the bark of this plant, sometimes used as an antispasmodic.
2Any of several kinds of hawthorn (genus Crataegus) with dark purple berries; especially C. douglasii, of the north-west coast of North America.
3A small tree, Sideroxylon (formerly Bumelia) lanuginosum (family Sapotaceae), with blue-black berries found in the southern United States and Mexico. Now rare.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in John Ray (1627–1705), naturalist and theologian. From black + haw.
black haw/ˈblak ˌhɔː/
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