One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A white-flowered South African lily.
Ornithogalum thyrsoides, family Liliaceae
- ‘A group of chincherinchees makes an attractive display.’
- ‘One of the common names of this flower is chincherinchees.’
- ‘During the war it became an annual habit to travel to a hill just outside the village to pick chincherinchees or snowdrops as they were known.’
- ‘The giant chincherinchee is an attractive, easily cultivated garden plant and produces eye-catching, long-lasting flowers that are very suitable for as cut flowers.’
- ‘The South Africans know them as ‘tjenkenrientjee’ which is where the odd English name chincherinchee comes from.’
Early 20th century: imitative of the squeaky sound made by rubbing its stalks together.
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