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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Scarlet

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תולעת , Genesis 38:28 ; Exodus 25:4 . This tincture or colour expressed by a word which signifies worm colour, was produced from a worm or insect which grew in a coccus, or excrescence of a shrub of the ilex kind, which Pliny calls "coccus scolecius," the wormy berry, and Dioscorides terms "a small dry twig, to which the grains adhere like lentiles:" but these grains, as a great author observes on Solinus, "are within full of little worms or maggots, whose juice is remarkable for dying scarlet, and making that famous colour which we admire, and with which the ancients were enraptured. We retain the name in the cochineal, from the opuntia of America; but we improperly call a mineral colour "vermilion," which is derived from vermiculus, a little worm. The shrub on which the cochineal insect is found is sometimes called the "kermez oak," from kermez, the Arabic word both for the worm and the colour; whence "carmasinus," the French "cramoisi." and the English "crimson."


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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Scarlet'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wtd/s/scarlet.html. 1831-2.

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