Etymology
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liverwort (n.)
late Old English liferwyrt, from lifer (see liver (n.1)) + wyrt (see wort). A loan-translation of Medieval Latin hepatica. Applied to various plants with liver-shaped leaves or that were used to treat liver disorders. Similar formation in German leberkraut.
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lichen (n.)
1715, from Latin lichen, from Greek leichen "tree-moss, lichen," originally "what eats around itself," probably from leichein "to lick" (from PIE root *leigh- "to lick"). Used earlier (c. 1600) of liverwort, which was thought to be related. Also in English, as in Greek, of eczema and certain other skin diseases. Related: Lichenic; licheniform; lichenous; lichenaceous.
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