Word for Wednesday: Iris

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Our July Word for Wednesday theme is flowers

The word flower entered English around 1200 as ‘flour’ (with spelling variants including ‘flur’, ‘flor’, ‘floer’, ‘flor’, ‘floyer’, and ‘flowre’). It comes from the Old French ‘flor’, from the Latin ‘florem’. The word was used in reference to both blooms and grain until the late fourteenth century, after which the spellings ‘flower’ and ‘flour’ were used to differentiate between the two. 

So far we’ve looked at the words delphiniumlily and orchid. Our final flower-themed word this month is iris.

An iris is a plant with bright three-petaled flowers and sword-shaped leaves. The word iris has been used describe the flower since late-fourteenth century and to describe the coloured part of the eye since the early-fifteenth century. In Greek, Iris was the name of the goddess of the rainbow. Iris is also the root of the word iridescent.


28 Jul 2021
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