One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
usually treated as singular A small fleshy plant with tiny white flowers, which grows in damp and wet habitats in temperate regions. The leaves are sometimes eaten in salads.
Montia fontana, family Portulacaceae
- ‘Some are found worldwide such as water blinks and brittle-bladder fern.’
- ‘Blinks is so called because its tiny greenish-white flowers rarely open fully, fancifully as if they were reluctant to face the sun.’
- ‘Photograph and information on this species, commonly known as Blinks, found in damp places.’
Late 17th century: from blink in the sense ‘momentary gleam of light’ (referring to the small flowers).
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