One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1More fully "ram's head lady slipper", "ram's head lady's slipper". A North American lady's slipper orchid, Cypripedium arietinum.
3In a narrowboat: the tiller or rudder post; the steering column of a motor.
Early 17th century (in an earlier sense). From the genitive of ram + head. So called on account of the resemblance of the various plants and objects so named to the head of a ram.
ram's head/ˈramz ˌhɛd/
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