"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Monday, 15 June 2009


Wort is a sweet, viscous, and flavorful liquid produced by the careful steeping of hot water with cracked malted barley or wheat; fermenting or fermented malt. But that is not the meaning I am principally telling you about.

From My Hebridean Blog


...wort is a frequent ending for English plant names and anyone who read my recent blog about the flowers on the croft by GB's may have noticed Butterwort, Lousewort and Milkwort. Also on the croft - though I didn't mention them - are a couple of liverworts. Wort is simply an Anglo-Saxon word that meant weed so in oidern parlance the plants would be known as butterweed, louseweed, milkweed and so on.


  1. Milkweed! We have those here!
    That's an obscure "branch" of botany (pardon the pun) that's been escaping me for a while... and cleared away in a flash! Thank you!

  2. Archduchess, I can Bore for Britain on the subject of the origin of English names of plants - don't get me started!