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Headword: *ko/rxoros
Adler number: kappa,2133
Translated headword: blue pimpernel
Vetting Status: high
A worthless wild herb.[1] Hence the proverb "and a blue pimpernel among herbs". [2] Some render the korchoros as a certain fish, like the dolphin-fish,[3] and as a cheap dish. But the proverb is spoken of the unworthy and base, who lay claim to an honour greater than what they are due.
Greek Original:
*ko/rxoros: a)/grion la/xanon eu)tele/s. dio\ kai\ h( paroimi/a: kai\ ko/rxoros e)n laxa/nois. e)/nioi i)xqu\n poio\n to\n ko/rxoron a)podido/asin, w(s to\n i(/ppouron, kai\ w(s eu)tele\s e)/desma. le/getai de\ e)pi\ tw=n a)naci/wn h( paroimi/a kai\ tapeinw=n, metapoioume/nwn de\ timh=s h)\ kaq' e(autou\s mei/zonos.
Same entry in Photius, Lexicon kappa996 Theodoridis; similar ones elsewhere (see Th.'s references, and notes below).
[1] Also glossed in Hesychius kappa3736 (s.v. ko/rxoron) as "a wild herb". We know this is the blue pimpernel through Dioscurides Pedanius, De Materia Medica 2.178, where it is used as an alternative name for a)nagalli\s h( kuanh=, Anagallis caerulea.
[2] Zenobius 4.57, Diogenianus 5.36a (repeated in Apostolius 9.100); scholia on Aristophanes, Wasps 239a, 239b (web address 1); scholia on Nicander, Theriaca 626a; often in the variant ko/rkoros. Mangled in kappa 1404 as a reference to galleys (ke/rkouros).
LSJ s.v. ko/rxoros suggests the equivalent "a tailor among kings". Zenobius gives the wording used by the Suda: "the Peloponnesians call 'blue pimpernel' a certain wild herb, of the worthless sort; hence the proverb." Diogenianus actually explains it: "[proverb] concerning those who are worthless, but think of themselves as great. For the blue pimpernel is a kind of worthless plant."
[3] Better known now as mahi-mahi: Coryphaena hippurus. This interpretation of the word comes from the scholia to Aristophanes, Wasps 239a (see above): "against Lycophron, who said the korkoros is a little fish; but he is deceived, as Eratosthenes says, for it a wild and worthless herb". The word is not present in our attested corpus of Lycophron. Hesychius (above) also glosses the word as "fat".
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: botany; comedy; daily life; definition; ethics; food; proverbs; zoology
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 5 November 2008@19:39:18.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, link, more keywords) on 6 November 2008@01:14:48.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 6 November 2008@03:26:39.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 13 March 2013@07:43:36.
David Whitehead (coding) on 2 May 2016@05:32:20.


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