One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1British regional. The cowslip, Primula veris. Now rare.
2United States regional. The marsh marigold, Caltha palustris.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Gerard (c1545–1612), herbalist. From palsy + wort, after post-classical Latin herba paralysis or Middle French herbe paralyse, erbe a paralisie; compare quot. 1597 at sense 1.
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