One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of various aquatic or semiaquatic plants of the genus Rorippa (family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)), as creeping yellowcress, R. sylvestris, and common yellowcress, R. palustris.
1A firework designed to be discharged in the water. Now historical.
2A model rocket consisting of a hollow vessel that is partially filled with water and launched by pumping air (or some other gas) into it until the resulting pressure forces the water out of a nozzle, propelling the rocket upwards.
Early 17th century. From water + rocket, probably after post-classical Latin eruca aquatica<br>mid 17th century; earliest use found in John Bate (fl. 1626–1635), writer on mechanics. From water + rocket.
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