One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two species of dock formerly grown as medicinal plants or pot-herbs, (originally) patience dock, Rumex patientia, and (in later use) R. pseudoalpinus.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in William Langham (fl. 1597), doctor and herbalist. From the genitive of monk + rhubarb, after post-classical Latin Rhabarbarum Monachorum.
monk's rhubarb/ˌmʌŋks ˈruːbɑːb/
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