One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A migratory butterfly with predominantly orange-brown wings and darker markings.
Genus Cynthia, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae: the widely distributed C. cardui, with black-and-white markings, and the American painted lady (C. virginiensis), with markings resembling eyes on the undersides of the wings
- ‘Alfalfa butterflies, painted ladies, woolly bears and various other species have been abundant all summer.’
- ‘A painted lady feeds on the nutrient-rich carcass of a swift fox in western South Dakota.’
- ‘She was lying in the dust beneath a white buddleia, staring straight ahead, sniffing at red admirals and painted ladies as they fluttered past.’
- ‘And I can see monarchs, painted ladies, tiger swallowtails, and listen to the songbirds.’
- ‘All the way we were accompanied by electric blue and emerald green damsel flies and along the banks we spotted red admirals, painted ladies, peacocks, and mere common butterflies.’
2South African A gladiolus.‘the painted ladies have white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers’
- ‘Gladiolus carneus or "Painted lady" grows to 1m tall.’
- ‘While long-tubed painted lady has been long in cultivation, it is still rare.’
3(in the US, especially San Francisco) a house from the late 19th or early 20th century whose exterior is decorated with three or more colours of paint highlighting its ornate architectural features.
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