fimmtudagur, júní 29, 2006


Rue: To feel regret. A complicated, blended derivation from OE hreowan (to grieve) and hreowian (to feel sorrow), perhaps influenced by ON hryggja. The noun, "pain, sorrow," is derived from the OE verb.

Rue: A species of shrub. The name may be derived from Greek rhyte and is not related to the other word rue, above, despite the numerous puns seen in English literature. Apparently it is sometimes used to flavor claret or fruit preserves, but only in small amounts, as it is an irritant. Should one pluck the pale leaves by hand and so develop welts and ulcers, the remedy is hemlock. This is not so drastic as it sounds: the hemlock is meant to be applied topically. Rue is a perennial evergreen, which is amusing in that it makes it possible and even accurate to say that "rue springs eternal." Strangely, it has been used against headaches and nightmares stemming from emotional causes and against hysterical spasm. Unsurprising, the leaves are bitter in flavor.

Rue, in French, is also a street. Today, though the words are unrelated, I am thinking about it as a road.

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