Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Wolf’s-bane.

 Wolf-month or Wolf-monath.Wolves. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Wolf’s-bane.
 
The Germans call all poisonous herbs “banes,” and the Greeks, mistaking the word for “beans,” translated it by k’amoî, as they did “hen-bane” (huos ku’amos). Wolf’s-bane is an aconite with a pale yellow flower, called therefore the white-bane to distinguish it from the blue aconite. White-bean would be in Greek lcukos kuamos, which was corrupted into lukos kuamos (wolf-bean); but botanists, seeing the absurdity of calling aconite a “bean,” restored the original German word “bane,” but retained the corrupt word lukos (wolf), and hence the ridiculous term “wolf’s-bane.” (H. Fox Talbot.)   1
   This cannot be correct: (1) bane is not German; (2) huos kuamos would be hog-bean, not hen-bane; (3) How could Greeks mistranslate German? The truth is, wolf-bane is so called because meat saturated with its juice was supposed to be a wolf-poison.   2
 


 Wolf-month or Wolf-monath.Wolves. 

 
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