One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An evergreen oak tree native to southern Europe and western Asia.
Quercus macrolepis, family Fagaceae
- ‘The original forest vegetation of the area consisted mainly of woodland of valonia oak.’
- ‘Besides the valonia oak, the elm, willow, cypress and tamarisk shrub abound.’
- ‘Licorice, valonia oaks, and wild olive trees grow in the southwest.’
- ‘We are glad of the green valonia oaks that spread their shade over us, and of the blossoming haw-thorns that scatter their flower-snow on the hill-side.’
- ‘The ruins are now completely overgrown with shrubbery and valonia oaks.’
- 1.1 The acorn cups of the valonia oak, which yield a black dye and are used in tanning.
- ‘The islands furnish valonia for tanning.’
- ‘Its main exports in the nineteenth century were raisins, cotton, dried fruit, figs, madder, valonia and opium, with cereals, sponges, olive oil and tobacco also being exported.’
- ‘Gathering the yellow seeds, valonias, and gallnuts in the fall, the weaving woman's husband could fill in a good share of his year, and, if he was saving, add a pretty penny to her earnings.’
- ‘Other goods sent from Arcadia to Venice were meat, cheese, wool, wheat, honey, and valonia.’
Early 18th century: from Italian vallonia, based on Greek balanos ‘acorn’.
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