gillyflower

gillyflower

[jil-ee-flou-er]
noun
1.
Archaic. any of several fragrant flowers of the genus Dianthus, as the carnation or clove pink.
2.
any of various other usually fragrant flowers, especially a stock, Matthiola incana, of the mustard family.
Also, gilliflower.


Origin:
1300–50; alteration (by association with flower) of Middle English gilofre, geraflour < Old French gilofre, girofle < Latin caryophyllum < Greek karyóphyllon clove (káryo(n) nut + phýllon leaf)

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Collins
World English Dictionary
gillyflower or gilliflower (ˈdʒɪlɪˌflaʊə)
 
n
1.  any of several plants having fragrant flowers, such as the stock and wallflower
2.  an archaic name for carnation
 
[C14: changed (through influence of flower) from gilofre, from Old French girofle, from Medieval Latin, from Greek karuophullon clove tree, from karuon nut + phullon leaf]
 
gilliflower or gilliflower
 
n
 
[C14: changed (through influence of flower) from gilofre, from Old French girofle, from Medieval Latin, from Greek karuophullon clove tree, from karuon nut + phullon leaf]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gillyflower
1550s, folk-etymology spelling (by association of flower) of gilofre "clove" (so named for its scent), c.1300, from O.Fr. girofle "clove," ult. from Gk. karyophyllon "clove, nut leaf, dried flower bud of clove tree," from karyon "nut" + phyllon "leaf" (see folio).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

gillyflower

any of several scented flowering plants, especially the carnation, or clove pink (Dianthus caryophyllus), stock (Matthiola incana), and wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri). However, the gillyflower of Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakespeare was the carnation. Other plants that are types of gillyflower are dame's gillyflower, also known as dame's violet (Hesperis matronalis); mock gillyflower, also known as soapwort or bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis); feathered gillyflower, also known as the grass or garden pink (Dianthus plumarius); and sea gillyflower, also known as the thrift or sea pink (Armeria maritima).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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