aspic's

aspic

1 [as-pik]
noun
1.
a savory jelly usually made with meat or fish stock and gelatin, chilled and used as a garnish and coating for meats, seafoods, eggs, etc.
2.
a similar jelly made with spiced tomato juice and gelatin, served as a salad.

Origin:
1780–90; < French; perhaps so called because the form or color resembled those of an asp. See aspic2

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aspic

2 [as-pik]
noun
Obsolete, asp1.

Origin:
1520–30; < Middle French, perhaps = Old French asp(e) asp1 + -ic, modeled on Middle French basilique basilisk

aspic

3 [as-pik]

Origin:
1595–1605; < French; Old French espic < Medieval Latin spīcus spikenard, Latin: variant of spīca, spīcum spike2

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World English Dictionary
aspic1 (ˈæspɪk)
 
n
a savoury jelly based on meat or fish stock, used as a relish or as a mould for meat, vegetables, etc
 
[C18: from French: aspic (jelly), asp1; variously explained as referring to its colour or coldness as compared to that of the snake]

aspic2 (ˈæspɪk)
 
n
an archaic word for asp
 
[C17: from French, from Old Provençal espic spike, from Latin spīca, head (of flower); compare spikenard]

aspic3 (ˈæspɪk)
 
n
either of two species of lavender, Lavandula spica or L. latifolia, that yield an oil used in perfumery: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
 
[C16: from Old French, a variant of aspeasp²]

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Word Origin & History

aspic
1789, "savory meat jelly," from Fr. aspic "jelly" (18c.), lit. "asp," from O.Fr. aspe (13c., from L. aspis + ending from basilisc "basilisk"). Perhaps so called from its coldness (froid comme un aspic is said to be a proverbial phrase), or the colors in the gelatin, or the shape of the mold.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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