borage (n.)

blue-flowered plant used in salads, etc., mid-13c., from Anglo-French burage, Old French borage (13c., Modern French bourrache), from Medieval Latin borrago, which also is the source of Spanish boraja, Italian borraggine, German Boretsch.

The Medieval Latin word was held by folk-etymology to be from Arabic abu arak, literally "the father of sweat," supposedly so called by Arab physicians for its effect on humans. But OED and other sources find it rather to be from Latin borra "rough hair, short wool," in reference to the texture of the foliage. Related: Boraginaceous.

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