One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A woodland Eurasian primula with yellow flowers that hang down one side of the stem.
Primula elatior, family Primulaceae
- ‘The people of Bardfield collected arms full of oxlips with which to decorate their church at Easter.’
- ‘I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows…’
- 1.1 A natural hybrid between a primrose and a cowslip.
- ‘The Cowslip Count took place in the spring of 2000 and we received data on over 2,000 places around the UK where cowslips, primroses and false oxlips are growing.’
- ‘Cowslips and primroses can hybridise, resulting in ‘false oxlips’.’
Old English oxanslyppe, from oxa ‘ox’ + slyppe ‘slime’; compare with cowslip.
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