One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small annual euphorbia which is often a troublesome weed of cultivated ground, Euphorbia peplus, native to Europe and introduced elsewhere, especially to North America and Australia.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Henry Lyte (1529–1607), botanist and antiquary. From petty + spurge.
petty spurge/ˈpɛtɪ spəːdʒ/
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