One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A kind of opal reflecting a reddish glow.
2North Americananother term for Jerusalem artichoke
- ‘This might be taken to be a folk etymology, like ‘Jerusalem’ for ‘girasole’ in ‘Jerusalem artichoke’ (a kind of sunflower).’
- ‘A girasole is a plant whose flower turns towards the sun.’
Late 16th century (in the sense ‘sunflower’): from French, or from Italian girasole, from girare ‘to turn’ + sole ‘sun’ (because the sunflower turns to follow the path of the sun).
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