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Table 2 B. Morphological characteristics: B1. Root (anthropomorphism); B2. Leaves, fruits, and seeds; B3. Similarity to other plants

From: In search of traces of the mandrake myth: the historical, and ethnobotanical roots of its vernacular names

Language/sub-category Name Ethnic transcription Meaning Selected references
B1
Arabic [šağarat aṣ-ṣanam] شجرة الصنم Lit. [“The image’s (idol) tree,” “a human (shaped) tree”] [88:14]; [98, IV: 443]; [99]
Armenian [marda-khot] Literarily [“Human (-like) plant”] [100: 106]; [101: 152]; [102: 251]
Czech mužijk, mužicek   [“little man”] [103: 43]; [104: 289]; [12: 166]
Czech strýček   [“uncle”] [104: 289]
Danish dukkeurt   [“doll’s herb”] [27: 344]
Dutch aardmannetje   [“little earth man”] [76, I:95]; [31: 45]; [105: 35]
Dutch alruinmanntje   [“mandrake’s little man”] [106:29]
Dutch mandragora mannetje   [“mandrake’s man”] [28: 71]; [31: 45]
Dutch wortelmannetje   [“little root man”] [107: 63]; [31: 45]
Dutch wortelmensch   [“root man”] [108: 541]; [31: 45]
English ladylin   [“little lady”] [29, II: 336]; [109: 70]
English root of life   Due to the hallucinogenic effects? [30: 334]
English womandrake    [110: 343]; [56: 66]; [109:70]; [29, II: 336]
Farsi [mardom-gīyāh] مردم گیاه [“plant of the people”] [100: 106]; [111: 2]: [101: 152]
French homme planté   [“planted man”] [28: 71]; [31: 43]; [29: 336]
French plante humaine   [“human Plant”] [112: 225]; [28: 71]; [31: 44]; [113: 8]
German alraunmännchen, alruyn manneken   [“alrun man”] [31: 41]; [114: 15]
German atzelmännchen   [“doll”] [115:164]; [30:330]
German atzmann   [“doll,” “puppet”] [31]; [30]; [114: 15] [81: 23]
German erdmännchen, erdmännlein   [“little earth man”]/[“earth mannekin”] [116: 25]; [30: 331]; [31: 41]; [114: 15]; [81: 23]
German erdweibchen   [“little earth woman”] [117: 185]; [116: 25]
German mandlwurz, mandelwurz   [“little root-man”] [118: 355]; [119: 137]; [120: 113]; [2: 1138]
German menschenwurzel   [“human’s root”] [114: 15]; [81: 23]
Greek [anthropómorphos] ἀνθρωπόμορφος [“human-shaped”] (due to its anthropomorphic roots) [45: IV,75]
Greek [paidí] παιδί [“child”] (may be because of its small, child-shaped root; less probable is because it may induce fertility) [59: 442]
Greek [arkánthropos] ἀρκάνθρωπος [“bear-man shaped”] (due to its fat/hairy roots) [62: 600]; [58: 2509]; [121: 357]
Latin antropophora   [“human-bearer”] (from Greek) [45: IV,75])
Latin semihomo   [“half human”] [45: IV, 75]
Polish męzyk   [“male”] [12: 164]
Turkish adamkökü   [“man root”] [122: 268]; [73: 107]; [90: 232–234]; [41: 124]
Turkish adamotu   [“man plant”] [123: 21]; [124: 2]
Turkish insan kökü   [“person root”] [73: 107]; [28: 71]; [93: 232–234]; [41: 124]
Turkish insan otu   [“person plant”] [73: 107]; [123: 21]; [124: 2]
B2
Arabic [fākihat al—gurāb] فاكهة الغراب [“raven’s fruit” [
(the birds like this fruit)
[125: 624–625] (Andalusia, 13th c.)
Arabic [sābizāj, ṣābizāj] صابيزاج,سابيزاج [“a plant with black (dark) seeds”] from Farsi: “šā(h)” which means black (cf. šāh-tūt) and “bīzak” means seed, grain [84: 351] (Andalusia 6–7th c.); [126: 219]; [100: 106] (Syria)
Arabic [luffāh] لفّاح “The burning
(or emitting a good
odor) fruit” (name related only to the fruit of the plant)
[86: 107] (Arabia, 9th c.);
[85, II: 774] (Andalusia, 11th c.); [88: 592]; [41: 121]; [127: 285]; [128: 242] (Arabia, 9th c.);
[129: 250] (North Africa); [130: 36] (Turkey); AGK Pers. obs.(Palestine)
Armenian [loshtak, loštak] Loshtak means literally “ear” (due to the fact that “the leaf is large and with many ridges like an ear” (Garnik Asatrian, Pers. com. 30.10.19) [63, I: 537]; [101:154]
Farsi [šā(h)bīzak
Spelling variants: sābisaj / šbizak / sbysq, š’bysk]
شابیزک [“plant with black seeds”] (see above, also A. belladonna) [130: 36]; [95: 688];
[100: 106]
Greek [avgoulátsa/ avgoudátsa] αυγουλάτσα, αυγουδάτσα [“bearing little egg-shaped fruits”] [59: 430]
Greek [chondrovotáni] χοντροβοτάνι [“fat herb”] (probably due to its large leaves or its fat taproot)] [59: 439] (Lakonia)
Greek [kourouniá] κουρουνιά [“crow nest-shaped”] (leaves) [59: 433–434] (Nisyros and Leros islands)
Greek [megalovotáni] μεγαλοβοτάνι [“large herb”] (due to its large leaves or fat taproot) [59: 439] (Lakonia)
Greek [papútsa] παπούτσα [“shoe-shaped”] (leaves) [59: 440] (Cyprus)
Serbo-Croatian [nadliška] Haдлишкa Nad” means over, above; “liška” means leaf. Probably the word means something stronger or more important than leaf (which is close to the root in the mandrake) or could also emphasize the fruit (“above the leaf”) [71: 20]
Serbo-Croatian [veliko zelje] beликo зeљe Veliko” means great, large, big; “zelje” means greens or herb. The word could implicate “a great herb” because of its relatively large (long) leaves [71: 20]
Serbo-Croatian [vodopić] boдoпић Voda” means water, “piti” means to drink; literally “vodopić” is one who drinks water; could be linked to shiny intense green leaves (?) [71: 20]
Serbo-Croatian [veliko zelje
/ velje zelje]
beликo зeљe Veliko” means great, large, big; “zelje” means greens or herb. The word could implicate “a great herb” because of relatively large (long) leaves [71: 20]
Spanish lirios   [“lily flower”] (resemblance to lily flower) [131: 175]
Turkish beş damar otu   [“five-veined plant”] [41: 124] (North Cyprus)
Turkish lüffâh   Luffah: mandrake’s fruit in Arabic [41:124]; [87: 293,340]
Turkish lüffâh-ı berry   [“wild luffah”] (see Luffah) [41: 124]
B3
Arabic [tuffāḥ al-barr] تفّاح البرّ [“wild apple”] [132]
Arabic [tuffāḥ bittanžān] تفّاح بطنجان [“eggplant’s apple”] A local name in the Galilee. Israel
(SAH Pers. Obs)
French belladone sans
tige
  [“belladonna without a stem”] [31: 43]; [28: 71]; [29: 336]
French pomme terrestre   [“earth’s apple”] [112: 225]; [133: 184]; [113: 8]
German borchart   Burcher: a popular name for Atropa belladonna (Hambel 2002:330) [75: 229]; [134, III: 53]; [31: 41]; [30: 330]
German erdapfel, ertapfel   [“Earth’s apple”] [83; 258]; [118: 355]; [119: 137]; [75: 22]; [134, III: 53]; [31: 41]; [30: 331]
German malzapfel,
maltzapfel,
melzlh apfel
  Seems to be a corruption/translation of “pomum macianum [136, I:2021]; [135: 23];
[137: 84]; [134, III:53]; [81: 23]
Greek [mala silvestria] μάλα σιλβέστρια [“wild apples”] [45: IV,75] (Romans in Greece)
Greek [mala terrestria] μάλα τερρέστρια [“Earth's apples”] [45: IV,75]
Greek [milopeponiá] μηλοπηπονιά [“apple-melon tasting”] [62: 600]; [121: 357] (Cyprus); [59: 440]; [60: 408]
Greek [miliákos] μηλιάκος [“apple-like”] [60: 408] [58];
Greek θριδακία (f.) / θριδακίας (m) ɵριδακία (f.)/ɵριδακίας (m) [“lettuce-looking plant”] [45: IV,75]; [61: 9,8,8]
Latin malum terrae,
malus terrae, mala terrestria
  [“Earth’s apple” / “Earth’s apples”] [84: 351] (Andalusia, 6-7th c.); [79: 6] (Spain). [45: IV,75]
Latin thridakía, thridaks   [“lettuce-looking plant”] [45: IV,75]; [138: 419]
Serbo-Croatian [divlja jabučica] Дивљa
Jaбyчицa
[“wild small apples”] “divlja” means wild
and “jabučica” means
small apple
[71: 20]
Slovak Pěkná jablečka   [“beautiful apple”] [139: 359]
Spanish manzana de tierra   [“Earth’s apple”] [131: 192]
Spanish acelgón, acelgones   [“chard”] (due to the leaves resembling this plant) [66]
Spanish berengenilla, berenjenilla   [“little eggplant”] ;[66] [72: 585]
Spanish berenjena mora   [“Moorish eggplant”] [66]
Spanish lechuguilla   [“small lettuce”] [66]
Spanish tomatico   [“small tomato”] [66]
Spanish uva de moro   [“Moorish grape”] ;[66] [72: 585]
Turkish lüffâh-ı berri   [“Earth loofah”] [41: 124]
Turkish toskafa kavunu   [“butting head melon”] (because it looks like a head that butts) [73: 107]; [123]
Turkish yer elması   [“Earth apple”] [73: 73]; [123: 21]
Turkish yer yenidünyası   [“Earth’s loquat”] [41: 124]; [123: 21]