One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A creeping evergreen North American shrub of the heather family, with spiny scented leaves and waxy white flowers.Also called wintergreen
- ‘The leaves and flowers of Eastern teaberry (also known as checkerberry, boxberry, partridge berry, wintergreen berry, teaberry and mountain tea) have a mildly perfume scented aroma.’
- ‘Further north you have service berries or juneberries in the wet woodlands; bearberries on the moors and heaths, checkerberries or wintergreen in the woods and moors, and cranberries in the boggy heaths, which has berries that remain on the plant throughout winter.’
- ‘When this constant lover returned he brought an offering of late May-flowers and bright checkerberries held clumsily in his big hand, and gave them to the only woman he had ever loved.’
- 1.1 The edible red fruit of the checkerberry plant.
- ‘These little people, quite recovered from their fatigue, had set about gathering checkerberries, and now came clambering to meet their play-fellows.’
- ‘Because checkerberry was once popular for making a tea, another name for it is eastern teaberry.’
- ‘She and her younger sister Annie were allowed one April day, by their mother, to go into the woods just before school hours, to gather checkerberries.’
- ‘Here we gathered all the berries before named, and besides them checkerberries, dangleberries, and grapes.’
Late 18th century: from checkers or chequers ‘berries of the service tree’ (so named from their colour) + berry.
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