Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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1word1day

Thursday word: fritillary

fritillary (FRIT-l-er-ee) - n., any of several orange-brown butterflies of the family Nymphalidae (or brush-footed butterflies) usually marked with black dots on the upper wings and silvery spots on the underwing.


Amount of spottage can vary wildly across species. Very common, at least in the northern hemisphere, and very pretty. Fritillary can also be an alternate name for fritillaria, a kind of lily with speckled flowers, but I'm ignoring that sense here except to note that both words come from Latin fritillus, dice-box, for the spots -- though as far as I can tell, it's the dice and not the cup used to store and roll them that typically had the spots. So, no, nothing to do with butterflies being flitty, but I still love the sound connotation.

As he waited for her answer, a fritillary fluttered across the field, passing between them.


Admin note: And with that, I'm going to flit off for a while. Which is to say, I'm about to drop off-line for a few months of paternity leave. While I'm out, brendala will be taking over Thursday posting duties.

---L.
Tags: f, latin, noun
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