One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, Northamptonshire
The banded or grove snail, Cepaea nemoralis; (also pooty shell) the shell of this.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in John Clare (1793–1864), poet, farm labourer, and naturalist. Origin uncertain; perhaps from pooty (although this is first attested slightly later)<br>early 19th century; earliest use found in Jane Welsh Carlyle (1801–1866), letter writer. Representing a colloquial, regional, or nonstandard pronunciation of pretty<br>early 19th century; earliest use found in John Neal (1793–1876), author and women's rights activist. From pooty.
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