Etymology
Advertisement
myrrh (n.)

"gummy, resinous exudation of certain plants of Arabia and Ethiopia," used for incense, perfumery, etc., Middle English mirre, from Old French mirre (11c.) and also from Old English myrre, both the Old English and Old French words from Latin myrrha (source also of Dutch mirre, German Myrrhe, French myrrhe, Italian, Spanish mirra), from Greek myrrha, from a Semitic source (compare Akkadian murru, Hebrew mor, Arabic murr "myrrh"), from a root meaning "was bitter." The classical spelling restoration is from 16c.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
myrtle (n.)

evergreen bush with fragrant white flowers, c. 1400, from Old French mirtile, from Medieval Latin myrtillus, diminutive of Latin myrtus "myrtle tree," from Greek myrtos "the myrtle, a sprig of myrtle," from same Semitic source as Greek myrrha (see myrrh). In ancient times it was sacred to Venus. The modern word is also applied to similar plants, some unrelated. Earlier Middle English forms were myrt, from Latin, and myrtine, from Medieval Latin myrtinus.

Related entries & more 
Nicodemus 

Latinized form of Greek Nikodēmos, from nikē "victory" (see Nike) + dēmos "people" (see demotic). In the New Testament, a member of the Sanhedrim who visited Jesus by night as an inquirer. After the death of Jesus he contributed aloes and myrrh for anointing the dead. Related: Nicodemical.

Related entries & more 
rh- 

consonantal digraph, an initial sequence used in Latin (and thus in English words from Latin) to represent Greek initial aspirated r-. The medial Greek form of it usually is represented by -rrh-, as in catarrh, diarrhea, hemorrhage, myrrh, Pyrrhic. As it was pronounced as simply "r" in Middle English (as in Old French and Spanish), the -h- tended to be dropped in spelling but was restored in early Modern English with the classical revival.

Related entries & more 
lotus (n.)

a name given to various plants, not all related or alike, 1540s, from Latin lotus, from Greek lotos, a word used as a name for several plants before it came to mean Egyptian white lotus (a sense attested in English from 1580s). It is perhaps from Semitic (compare Hebrew lot "myrrh"). The plant bears a prominent part in the mythology of India, Egypt, China. The Homeric lotus later was held to be a North African shrub, from which "a kind of wine" [Century Dictionary] can be made. The name has also been given to several species of water-lilies and a bean that grows in water. The yogic sense is attested from 1848.

It was believed to induce a dreamy forgetfulness, hence lotus-eater "one who finds pleasure in a listless life" (1812) is from Greek lotophagoi, mentioned in "Odyssey," book IX (see lotophagi).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement