Saturday, June 04, 2016

Word of the day: woad

The word of the day is woad:
  1. a European plant, Isatis tinctoria, of the mustard family, formerly cultivated for a blue dye extracted from its leaves.
  2. the dye extracted from this plant.
O.E. wad, from P.Gmc. *waido- (cf. Dan. vaid, O.Fris. wed, M.Du. wede, Du. wede, O.H.G. weit, Ger. Waid "woad"), probably cognate with L. vitrium "glass" (see vitreous). Old type of blue dye processed from plant leaves, since superseded by indigo. Fr. guède, It. guado are Gmc. loan-words.

"My dress is all wrong, of far too fine a weave, and the blue is too bright, dyed with woad or not."

 - Connie Willis, Doomsday Book

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