Paeonia mascula > PEONY PAIGLE

A common alternative name for COWSLIP. Hazlott recorded "as blake as a paigle" in his collection of proverbs (blake is yellow). Chambers's dictionary is honest about this word -"derivation unknown" is fair, but there have been a number of attempts at explaining it. A verb 'to paggle", unknown to Halliwell, is sometimes quoted. It apparently meant 'to bulge', or 'swell', according to one informant. Grigson. 1955 saw a different meaning - to paggle, he said, when applying it to a cow's neck, meant to hang and shake, and he saw the analogy with the loosely hanging flowers. Yet another attempt at the derivation saw the original as French 'paillette', a spangle. Whatever it was, the word itself went through a number of changes, from Peagle, to Piggle, Peggle (Hazlitt; Macmillan) and Paggle (Tusser), even Beagle (Tynan & Maitland).The ultimate variant must be Pea Gull (J Smith. 1882).

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