honeysuckle

honeysuckle
   The name of this plant was used to some extent as a term of endearment in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Examples of its use occur in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Beaumont and Fletcher. Another is in The Fancies Chaste and Noble, by John Ford. It appears to have been used mainly by men to women. The honeysuckle is actually misnamed, since it is useless to the bee.
   As for the vocative, the speaker who uses it in O.Henry’s short story While the Auto Waits to a young lady finds that it does him little good. The conversation runs:
   ‘Didn’t know somebody was bowled over by those pretty lamps of yours, did you. honeysuckle?’
   ‘Whoever you are,’ said the girl, in icy tones, ‘you must remember that I am a lady. I asked you to sit down: if the invitation must constitute me your honeysuckle, consider it withdrawn.’

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

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  • Honeysuckle — Hon ey*suc kle, n. [Cf. AS. hunis[=u]ge privet. See {Honey}, and {Suck}.] (Bot.) One of several species of flowering plants, much admired for their beauty, and some for their fragrance. [1913 Webster] Note: The honeysuckles are properly species… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • honeysuckle — (n.) mid 13c., from O.E. hunigsuge, meaning perhaps honeysuckle, clover, or privet, lit. honey suck, + dim. suffix le. So called because honey can be sucked from it. In Middle English sometimes a confused rendering of L. locusta, taken as the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • honeysuckle — [hun′ē suk΄əl] n. [ME honisocle, dim. (see LE) < OE hunigsuce (Brit dial. honeysuck) < hunig, HONEY + sucan, to SUCK] 1. any of a genus (Lonicera) of plants of the honeysuckle family, with small, fragrant flowers of red, yellow, or white 2 …   English World dictionary

  • Honeysuckle — (engl. hónnĭ ßöckl), s. Geißblattornament …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • honeysuckle — ► NOUN ▪ a climbing shrub with fragrant yellow and pink flowers …   English terms dictionary

  • Honeysuckle — Taxobox name = Honeysuckle image width = 240px image caption = Lonicera ciliosa regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Dipsacales familia = Caprifoliaceae genus = Lonicera genus authority = L. subdivision ranks =… …   Wikipedia

  • honeysuckle — honeysuckled, adj. /hun ee suk euhl/, n. any upright or climbing shrub of the genus Diervilla, esp. D. lonicera, cultivated for its fragrant white, yellow, or red tubular flowers. [1225 75; ME honiesoukel, equiv. to honisouke (OE hunigsuce; see… …   Universalium

  • honeysuckle — UK [ˈhʌnɪˌsʌk(ə)l] / US noun [countable] Word forms honeysuckle : singular honeysuckle plural honeysuckles a climbing plant with yellow or pink flowers that smell very sweet …   English dictionary

  • honeysuckle —    The strong scent of honeysuckle and the way it twines round the stems of other plants are the likely reasons why it symbolizes erotic love. When it coils tightly round a growing plant, the latter develops spiralling grooves and swellings;… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • honeysuckle — noun Etymology: Middle English honysoukel clover, alteration of honysouke, from Old English hunisūce, from hunig honey + sūcan to suck Date: 1548 any of a genus (Lonicera of the family Caprifoliaceae, the honeysuckle family) of shrubs with… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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