[Ads-l] Root of Pook?

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Sep 21 21:03:47 EDT 2016

      Last Week Mr. Thomas Brunton, his Wife and three or four more of his
Family, in this City, had like to be poisoned by eating the Root of Pook,
for Horse Radish; but by having the immediate Assistance of a Physician,
they are now almost all recovered.
      N-Y Mercury, March 26, 1764, p. 2, col. 2
I don't see this elsewhere, and don't see it in the OED as such, but
"pukeweed", below, sounds as if it might be a bad plant to eat by mistake.

pukeweed  n. *N. Amer.* (now *hist.*) Indian tobacco,  *Lobelia inflata*,
an erect, usually branched herb bearing racemes of bluish-violet or white
flowers, which yields the alkaloid lobeline and was formerly used as an
1830    C. S. Rafinesque *Med. Flora* 2.22   *Lobelia inflata.
Names..Vulgar.* Indian Tobacco, Wild Tobacco, Emetic Weed, Puke Weed.
1925    *Sci. Monthly* Aug. 207   For lobelia or the puke weed Bartram made
such remarkable claims that the passage is quoted verbatim.
1994    J. S. Haller *Med. Protestants* 41   Thomson established an
alternative system of medical treatment. He depended most heavily on
lobelia (his ‘pukeweed’).

George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . . .

L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", *Poems*.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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