One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounmass nounNorthern English
- ‘A land where plastic shamrocks are rare, whin bushes are plentiful and the green isn't made in Taiwan.’
- ‘Cassiopeia was over Cassidy's hanging hill, I looked and three whin bushes rode across The horizon - the Three Wise Kings.’
- ‘Beyond that, weed draped on fence wire and whin bushes by the roadside, marked a Princess.’
- ‘So she is understandably dismissive of the dismal gorse and whin on view outside the living room window of her Council house.’
Late Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare with Swedish ven ‘bent grass’.
Hard, dark basaltic rock such as that of the Whin Sill in Northern England.
- ‘The other, the Longhoughton quarry, is located in the contact between the Great limestone (country rock) and the whin sill intrusion.’
- ‘The northwards path along a rocky coastline takes you to Dunstanburgh Castle, a romantic ruin where kittiwakes, cormorants and fulmars nest on whinstone cliffs.’
- ‘They are comprised primarily of a rock called whinstone, which is very prone to vertical weathering and faulting.’
- ‘Built from whinstone, with a slate roof, the pedimented front door is a particularly handsome feature.’
Middle English: of unknown origin.
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