Zeus had to transform the student into a beautiful flower when he showed more promise than his teacher and incurred his wrath. Since then, certain chemicals found in foxgloves have been isolated and used to make drugs that promote heart health. Does anyone know why it is called this? They are great garden plants for shady borders and woodland gardens. Beware of etymologists who pepper their explanations with no doubt, undoubtedly, obviously, and the like. The moral: one should never copy foreign words without looking them up in good contemporary sources. So let me repeat: foxglove does go back to a word that means exactly this (fox-glove), and all attempts to explain it as a “perversion” of some other compound or phrase are misguided, but the reason for endowing the flower with such an incomprehensible name has not been discovered. This means no deadheading spent flowers or you will not get seeds. I have dealt with henbane, hemlock, horehound, and mistletoe and know how thorny the gentlest flowers may be for a language historian. He chose as his perennial target was the inability of his countrymen to understand that etymology is a science rather than mildly intelligent guesswork. Your email address will not be published. R. C. A. The second reason for picking Foxglove Chiropractic as the name is the fact that the foxglove flower, also known as foxglove digitalis, has ties to modern day medicine. To my regret, no Scandinavian dictionary I have consulted discusses the Norwegian word. Under the right growing conditions, foxglove often lasts longer, blooming another year or two beyond what their … This is because it can have some health benefits, particularly as a heart stimulant. Anatoly Liberman is the author of Word Origins And How We Know Them as well as An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology: An Introduction. The genus was erected by Carl Linnaeus. Digitalis is poisonous; it can be fatal even in small doses. Your email address will not be published. Thus, a few wrong etymologies have been debunked, but what the sly fox has to do with the foxglove remains a mystery. Joseph Wright, another autodidact, the editor of the English Dialect Dictionary, was interested in many things outside English philology, but for Skeat English remained the prime object of research all his life. These are chemicals that affect the heart. Let’s learn more about foxglove flower history. It is worthy of remark, [note the comma!] Like most people who learned so much the hard way (that is, on their own), he despised ignorance, especially when it hid behind pretense and pomposity. Happy holidays from all of us at Gardening Know How. With our brand new eBook, featuring our favorite DIY projects for the whole family, we really wanted to create a way to not only show our appreciation for the growing Gardening Know How community, but also unite our community to help every one of our neighbors in need during these unprecedented times. Although the parts of the plant that grow above the ground can be used for medicine, foxglove is unsafe for self-medication. The foxglove gets its name from the old Anglo-Saxon word “foxes-glew,” which means “fox music.” This is apparently because the flowers resemble an ancient hanging bell of the same name. The Latin name was given by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753 because, much more straightforwardly, he thought the flowers looked like the fingertips of gloves. We read the following in it: “In Welsh this flower is called by the beautiful name of maneg ellyllon, or the fairies’ glove. 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