holly hock

hollyhock

[hol-ee-hok, -hawk]
noun
any of several plants belonging to the genus Alcea (or Althaea ), of the mallow family, native to Eurasia, especially A. rosea, a tall plant having a long cluster of showy, variously colored flowers.

Origin:
1225–75; Middle English holihoc, equivalent to holi holy + hoc mallow, Old English hocc

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World English Dictionary
hollyhock (ˈhɒlɪˌhɒk)
 
n
Also called (US): rose mallow a tall widely cultivated malvaceous plant, Althaea rosea, with stout hairy stems and spikes of white, yellow, red, or purple flowers
 
[C16: from holy + hock, from Old English hoc mallow]

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

hollyhock
c.1265, holihoc, from holi "holy" + hokke "mallow," from O.E. hocc, of unknown origin. The first element is probably of hagiological origin; another early name for the plant was caulis Sancti Cuthberti "St. Cuthbert's cole."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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