One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A thorny Eurasian shrub which bears white flowers before the leaves appear, followed by astringent blue-black fruits (sloes).
Prunus spinosa, family RosaceaeAlso called sloe
- ‘I walked down to this viewpoint in early April, when clouds of white blackthorn billowed along the hillside.’
- ‘The dark purple berries, fruit of the blackthorn, are best after the first frosts because they break down more easily.’
- ‘The birds love the dense thickets and scrub and clumps of bushes like blackthorn that grow in the older sites of the park.’
- ‘Shrubs such as hawthorn, field maple, blackthorn, beech, hornbeam and holly make good hedging.’
- ‘The planting included oak, ash, crab apple, field maple, hawthorn, blackthorn, privet and dogwood and down by the ponds two areas of willows were planted.’
- 1.1 A walking stick or cudgel made from a stem of the blackthorn shrub.
club, bludgeon, stick, truncheon, baton, mace, batView synonyms
- ‘He took his job very seriously, driving couples from the local public houses with his blackthorn stick.’
- ‘His father re-emerged with a blackthorn stick, looking ready to do vicious battle; but when he saw his opponent, he began to laugh.’
- ‘The muscular man carried a sturdy blackthorn cudgel in the field when supervising the emergency men.’
- ‘One RUC District Inspector was even wielding his blackthorn stick, the official symbol of his authority.’
- ‘I cut a stout blackthorn to banish ghost and goblin.’
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