The evolution of language is often intertwined with the evolution of the society that uses that particular set of words. This can be illuminating but it can also be depressing, if it reveals some deepseated prejudices. Case in point: the latin word 'vulgares' which features in the name of this week's FOTW. You think of the word ' vulgar', you think gross; crass. But it originally just meant common - and as the echium vulgare perfectly illustrates, 'common' can obviously be bloody beautiful as well.
Native to most of Europe, western and Central Asia, it's also often known as blueweed (makes sense - it can and does grow all over the place, and when it flowers, you're greeted by lofty stalks of vivid blue blooms). The growth of those flowers is particularly beautiful: initially they blossom in shades of pink, before maturing into their bright blue state.
Here's something from one of the more outer reaches of the internet: when looking for any symbolic meaning that might have been attached to blueweed over time, I stumbled across one of those homemade-looking websites straight out of 1999 and run by a self-described 'Northern Shaman.' Anyway, he describes blueweed as one of the nine sacred herbs of ancient, Northern Eurasian shamanism.. Apparently if you sing a song about a particular sickness to a blueweed plant, it will 'seek and destroy' the ailment!
Please note that Floom does not condone this particular form of medical treatment, though if you want to give it a try (and maybe film yourself doing it) we would definitely like to hear about/see it.
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