1540s, "asphodel," a variant of Middle English affodill "asphodel" (c. 1400), from Medieval Latin affodillus, from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos, which is of unknown origin. The initial d- is perhaps from merging of the article in Dutch de affodil, the Netherlands being a source for bulbs. First reference to the yellow, early spring flower we know by this name (Narcissus pseudo-Narcissus) is from 1590s. The name has many, often fanciful, variant forms. Lent-lily for "daffodil" is from 1827.
updated on June 25, 2018