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

Thursday word: dieffenbachia

dieffenbachia (dee-fuhn-BAK-ee-uh) - n., any of several tropical New World plants (genus Dieffenbachia) with variegated foliage.


Members of the lily family. Often grown as pot plants because their striped leaves are decorative and, as a jungle undergrowth, they are shade-tolerant. Thus:


Thanks, Wikimedia!

Content warning: do not eat -- they are caustic like taro. Contra urban legends, however, dieffenbachia are not deadly poisonous, just strongly irritating.

Named after either Ernst Dieffenbach (1811-1855), a German naturalist who studied the flora of New Zealand, or Joseph Dieffenbach (1796–1863), the head gardener of the Botanical Gardens in Vienna -- sources disagree as to whom. Either way, it was a posthumous commemoration and the word first appears in English around 1900.

Her office was spare, decorated with only a single, sad dieffenbachia on the side table to relieve the piles of paper on her desk.

---L.
Tags: d, german, noun
Subscribe

  • Tuesday word: Scupper

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021 Scupper (noun) scup·per [skuhp-er] noun 1. Nautical. a drain at the edge of a deck exposed to the weather, for allowing…

  • Wednesday Word: Ambuscade

    Ambuscade - noun. An ambuscade is an ambush. However, it can become a verb such as ambuscaded and amubscading.

  • Tuesday word: Romp

    So sorry I forgot last week. I thought I had it scheduled to post. Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2021 Romp (verb, noun) romp [romp] verb (used without…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment