- any of several grasses of the genus Lolium, having simple stems, flat leaves, and terminal spikes.
Origin of darnel
Examples from the Web for darnel
Do not harvest the weeds and the darnel, nor reject the barley because it is not wheat.The Minute Man of the Frontier
W. G. Puddefoot
A story of Budha answers to that of Darnel in the lions' den.The Bible Of Bibles;
The Tares sown amongst the wheat were probably the seed of the Darnel.The Romance of Plant Life
G. F. Scott Elliot
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow In our sustaining corn.Summer Days in Shakespeare Land
Charles G. Harper
It was thought Mr. Darnel came on purpose to show his resentment.The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves
- any of several grasses of the genus Lolium, esp L. temulentum, that grow as weeds in grain fields in Europe and Asia
Word Origin and History for darnel
weed growing in grainfields, c.1300, from northern dialectal French darnelle; according to one theory, the the second element is Old French neelle (Modern French nielle) "cockle," from Vulgar Latin nigella "black-seeded," from fem. of Latin nigellus "blackish."
But perhaps rather the word is related to Middle Dutch verdaernt, verdarnt "stunned, dumbfounded, angry," Walloon darne, derne "stunned, dazed, drunk," the plant so called from its well-known inebriating property. Long noted for its "poisonous" properties (actually caused by fungus growing on the plant); The French word for it is ivraie, from Latin ebriacus "intoxicated," and the botanical name, Lolium temulentum, is from Latin temulent "drunken," though this sometimes is said to be "from the heavy seed heads lolling over under their own weight."
In some parts of continental Europe it appears the seeds of darnel have the reputation of causing intoxication in men, beasts, and birds, the effects being sometimes so violent as to produce convulsions. In Scotland the name of Sleepies, is applied to darnel, from the seeds causing narcotic effects. [Gouverneur Emerson, "The American Farmer's Encyclopedia," New York, 1860. It also mentions that "Haller speaks of them as communicating these properties to beer."]