One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tall prickly Eurasian plant with spiny purple flower heads.
Genus Dipsacus, family Dipsacaceae: several species, including fuller's teasel
- ‘The writer had seen a copy of the Mark Lane Express Almanac, in which an article pointed out that ‘tobacco and mustard were grown in the Vale of York, and teasels were also pretty extensively cultivated.’’
- ‘All around the station car park I found lots of teasel flowers and this species also has a textile connection.’
- ‘Under these conditions, a teasel invasion wave would move each year roughly twice the mean seed dispersal distance.’
- ‘The wave speed calculated for teasel disagrees, by a large factor, with the apparent rate of spread of the species in North America.’
- ‘The teasel is another plant which had a vital use before the industrial revolution.’
- ‘Suppose that some small fraction of teasel seeds land in water, and that when they do they are dispersed according to a Laplace distribution with some larger mean distance.’
- ‘A large variety of shrubs have already been planted in the garden including thistles, dogrose, wild primulas and teasel.’
- ‘Vigorous self-seeders such as teasels and some annual poppies, and plants that tend to be too tall and lanky to stand the winter gales such as certain Achillea cultivars, are ideal contenders.’
- ‘Nearby, the rough grass and scrub contain large stands of teasels and thistles, which provide seeds for finches - goldfinch, chaffinch, bullfinch, brambling and siskin are frequent winter visitors.’
- ‘The plants have grabbed a hold forming rafts of rushes and weeds; and teasels and fireweed march up inhospitable slopes.’
- ‘The tortures that follow include strapping what Thomas calls a ‘teazle’ into William's mouth as a gag to choke him (presumably the large prickly seed-heads of teasels, Dipsacus fulonnum, that were used in the fulling of cloth).’
- ‘In the case of teasel, field biologists were already aware of the discrepancy between the short distances traveled by most seeds, and the speed with which the plant spread after its introduction to North America.’
- ‘Another possible explanation is that multiple introductions of teasel have contributed to its distribution in North America.’
- ‘The fruit of the teasel consists of seeds protected by hook-like structures.’
- ‘Finally, a nap is raised on the surface of the chechia by means of an implement made from the elongated, dried flower-head of a type of teasel (genus Dipsacus) grown and harvested near the village of el-'Aliya near Bizerte on the north coast.’
- ‘The land was quiet and pleasant, with teasels, cowslips, bluebells, and dark soil ridged for spuds or glowing with oil seed rape.’
- ‘To encourage them, provide bird-friendly seed-bearers such as teasels, honesty and sunflowers, and those that provide autumn berries, including pyracanthas and hawthorns.’
- ‘We present illustrative examples, using published data on two plants: teasel and Calathea ovandensis.’
- ‘Santolina is clipped into clouds and punctuation is provided by six foot tall teasels, milk thistles, huge artichokes and great clumps of bear's breeches.’
- ‘At Embsay I found harebell, knapweed, honeysuckle, meadowsweet, bittersweet and of course lots of teasel.’
- 1.1 A large dried head from a teasel, or a device serving as a substitute for one of these, used in the textile industry to raise a nap on woven cloth.
- ‘It might have also had its nap raised by the use of teasels over the surface of the fabric.’
verb[with object]often as noun teaseling
Raise a nap on (cloth) with or as if with teasels.‘there was an increase in cloth-finishing, especially by teaseling’
- ‘A shaggy cloth, though coarsely woven and loose in texture, will be found warmer than an equally heavy cloth which is woven compactly, and which has been sheared, carded and teazled.’
- ‘The fabric to be teaseled and/or fluffed wraps about a considerable part of the drum circumference.’
- ‘The garments to be teaseled cannot have free yarns.’
- ‘We produce a broad selection of manufactured products like: single rib, teaseled fleece, interlock (teaseled and un-teaseled), in addition to the Lycra fabrics that are knitted from various types of yarns.’
- ‘It is made with combed and teazled merino wool, enriched by an elegant piece of embroidery with satin motifs.’
Old English tǣsl, tǣsel, of West Germanic origin; related to tease.
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