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Gourd

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Used in the Middle Ages for corks (Orlando Furioso, x. 106); used also for a cup or bottle. (French, gourde; Latin, cucurbita.)

Jonah’s gourd [kikiven], the Palma Christi, called in Egypt kĭki. Niebuhr speaks of a specimen which he himself saw near a rivulet, which in October “rose eight feet in five monthsʹ time.” And Volney says, “Wherever plants have water the rapidity of their growth is prodigious. In Cairo,” he adds, “there is a species of gourd which in twentyfour hours will send out shoots four inches long.” (Travels, vol. i. p. 71.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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