dandelion – Richard Skinner

Not only is the development of a single word in one language a fascinating story, but also how the same word changes across several languages.

Our word ‘dandelion’ in English is taken from the French ‘dents-de-lion’, which means ‘lion’s teeth’. The French word for ‘dandelion’, however, is ‘pissenlit’, which translates as ‘wet the bed’, a reference to the plant’s diuretic qualities. In Norwegian, ‘dandelion’ is ‘løvetann’, which also translates as ‘lion’s teeth’, but in Swedish the word is ‘maskros’, which means ‘worm rose’.

In Latin, the plant is called ‘Taraxacum Officinale’.



(Image: photo by Luca Campioni)