One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounSouthern, English Regional, Midlands
Any of various white-rayed species of chamomile (genus Anthemis and perhaps allied genera), chiefly weeds of cultivated ground; especially (also more fully "stinking maythe") stinking chamomile, Anthemis cotula. Also: any of several other white-rayed plants of the family Asteraceae (Compositae); especially ox-eye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare (also "†white maythe").
Old English; earliest use found in Bald's Leechbook. From the same Germanic base as Old English maegeð, maegð maiden, girl; compare Middle Low German mēgedeblōme, Middle High German meideblume, maidblume (German Mägdeblume, Magdblume) all in sense ‘camomile’, and see discussion below. For compounds see maidenweed, maidweed, mayweed.
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