I love words. I love learning the origin of words, word play and word puns. All things word related always catches my eye. This interesting information came to us from The Herald out of Scotland in their article, “Scots Word of the Week.”

Languages reflect what linguists call folk taxonomy, traditional naming-systems that change over time. It isn’t the traditional taxonomy that we in information science are used to, but it is still interesting and still learning.

This particular article looks at the origin of common words or folk vernacular and this week the focus is on botanicals, specifically bluebell. The word is used for a variety of flowers across the British Isles. Scientists commonly distinguish Scottish and English bluebells – the former is what in England is known as the harebell – while there are also well-known non-natives, such as the Spanish bluebell.

There are more words for bluebells, including blaver, lady’s thimbles and craw-taes. Another is blawort. It can refer not only to Scottish bluebells but also cornflowers and the speedwell.

Have I mentioned how much I like vocabulary?

Melody K. Smith

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