One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
2White bryony, Bryonia alba (formerly used in preparations for hair removal).
Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Trevisa (c1342–?1402), translator. From classical Latin psīlōthrum a depilatory, white bryony (as the root was used as a depilatory; in post-classical Latin also as psilatrum) from Hellenistic Greek ψίλωθρον a depilatory, white bryony from ancient Greek ψιλοῦν to bare + -θρον, instrumental suffix.
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