June 28th, 2018

words are sexy

Thursday word: orris

orris (AWR-ris, OR-ris) - n., any of several irises (especially Iris germanica and I. pallida) with a fragrant root; said root as used in perfumes or a favoring in gin, orrisroot.


Also, a lace or braid made of gold or silver much used in the 18th century but not so much today, either the stuff or the word. The flower name has been used since at least the 15th century, and appears to be an alteration of iris (from Latin, from Greek iris, rainbow) though no one can explain why or how it was altered. (The pimped-out braiding is from Old French orfreis, from Latin auriphrygium, Phrygian gold, to which I say ooooo-kay then.)

A sample of I. pallida to brighten your day:

Thanks, WikiMedia!

A sample usage:

A delectable, creamy blend of vanilla, heliotrope, and orris, which is like a layer of dark-golden nougat.

---L.