One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A woodland Eurasian primula with yellow flowers that hang down one side of the stem.
Primula elatior, family Primulaceae
- ‘I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows…’
- ‘The people of Bardfield collected arms full of oxlips with which to decorate their church at Easter.’
- 1.1 A natural hybrid between a primrose and a cowslip.
- ‘Cowslips and primroses can hybridise, resulting in ‘false oxlips’.’
- ‘The Cowslip Count took place in the spring of 2000 and we received data on over 2,000 places around the UK where cowslips, primroses and false oxlips are growing.’
Old English oxanslyppe, from oxa ‘ox’ + slyppe ‘slime’; compare with cowslip.
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