One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Zoology (In form Oliva) a genus of marine gastropod molluscs of the family Olividae, characterized by glossy cylindrical shells; (also oliva; more fully "oliva shell") a member of this genus; an olive shell.
2Anatomy. The olivary body (more fully "oliva inferior"). Also (in full "oliva superior"): the superior olivary nucleus.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.
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