Etymology
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wort (n.)

"a plant," Old English wyrt "root, herb, vegetable, plant, spice," from Proto-Germanic *wurtiz (source also of Old Saxon wurt, Old Norse, Danish urt, Old High German wurz "plant, herb," German Wurz, Gothic waurts, Old Norse rot "root"), from PIE root *wrād- "branch, root." St. John's wort attested from 15c.

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navelwort (n.)

type of plant, mid-15c., from navel + wort. So called from the form of the nutlets.

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colewort (n.)

late 14c., "cabbage," later especially "kale, greens;" from cole (n.1) + wort.

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hogwort (n.)
1846, from hog (n.) + wort. Said to be called for its "fetid porcine smell."
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ragwort (n.)

plant used medicinally, native to Eurasia, late 14c., from rag (n.1) (see ragged), in reference to the appearance of the leaves, + wort.

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mugwort (n.)

the plant Artemisia vulgaris, Old English mugcwyrt, literally "midge wort," from Proto-Germanic *muggiwurti, from *muggjo- "fly" (see midge) + *wurtiz (see wort).

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collard (n.)

variety of kale with fleshy leaves along the stem, 1755, American English, a Southern corruption of colewort (Middle English) "cabbage," later especially "kale, greens." The first element is related to the cole in cole-slaw; for second element, see wort. Related: Collards.

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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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herb (n.)
c. 1300, erbe "non-woody plant," especially a leafy vegetable used for human food, from Old French erbe "grass, herb, plant fed to animals" (12c., Modern French herbe), from Latin herba "grass, an herb; herbage, turf, weeds" (source also of Spanish yerba, Portuguese herva, Italian erba). The form of the English word was refashioned after Latin since 15c., but the h- was mute until 19c. Slang meaning "marijuana" is attested from 1960s. The native word is wort.
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vegetable (n.)
mid-15c., "non-animal life," originally any plant, from vegetable (adj.); specific sense of "plant cultivated for food, edible herb or root" is first recorded 1767. Meaning "person who leads a monotonous life" is recorded from 1921; sense of "one totally incapacitated mentally and physically" is from 1976.

The Old English word was wyrt (see wort). The commonest source of words for vegetables in Indo-European languages are derivatives of words for "green" or "growing" (compare Italian, Spanish verdura, Irish glasraidh, Danish grøntsager). For a different association, compare Greek lakhana, related to lakhaino "to dig."
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