Ground

A name given to EARTH-NUT (Conopodium majus) (Grigson. 1955), which has edible tubers, but there are more important plants, notably Arachis hypogaea, with the same name. This latter plant seems to be unlucky in many ways. If you dream of it, you will be poor, so it was believed in Illinois (H M Hyatt). And African-Americans in the southern states of America say it is unlucky to eat peanuts when you are going to play a game of any sort, and peanut hulls scattered about the door mean that you will go to jail (Puckett). In Madagascar, they are roasted like chestnuts in the home, but in many places there, peanuts are taboo. Nuts lying on the ground remind people of souls that lay their eggs on the ground. So they are taboo to pregnant women, as they will cause a miscarriage (Ruud). They are equally well known as Peanuts, of course, and Monkey Nuts, nearly as ubiquitous, though Grigson. 1974 suggested that the only reason for the name was that they are bought to feed monkeys in the zoo.

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