September 12th, 2019

cat in dress

Thursday word: Toadstone

toadstone

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Sep. 4th, 2019 | 07:57 am

toadstone (TOHD-stohn) n., a mythical stone supposedly formed in the head (or sometimes belly) of a toad, worn as jewelry or amulets as an antidote for poison.


Medieval European mythology, that is, though the idea goes back to at least Pliny the Elder -- the idea is that, since toads are as everyone knows hella poisonous, they must have the antidote to their own poison, otherwise they'd kill themselves. The actual stones so set were button-like fossilized teeth of Lepidotes, a ray-finned fish from the Jurassic and Cretaceous:

Toadstones or teeth? Yes!
Thanks, WikiMedia!

Can't tell from this picture, but from others it's clear they're about an inch across.

---L.