One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The common European wild arum of woodland and hedgerows, with a pale spathe and a purple or green spadix followed by bright red berries.
Arum maculatum, family AraceaeAlso called lords-and-ladies or Jack-in-the-pulpit
- ‘Celandine, cow parsley, cuckoo pint, goosegrass and bluebells also only put out the most tentative shoots, but deadnettles did not appear at all, and rosemary did not flower.’
Late Middle English: from earlier cuckoo-pintle, from pintle in the obsolete sense ‘penis’ (because of the shape of the spadix).
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