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I found out now, thanks to the question about the etymology of chatterbox, that 'chatterbox' is another name for helleborine (something I've never heard of). A helleborine is apparently

an orchid growing along streams or ponds of western North America having leafy stems and one greenish-brown and pinkish flower in the axil of each upper leaf

What could possible be the etymology for this?

  • What is your source? – Barrie England Jul 31 '12 at 11:07
  • helleborine means like hellebore, which is a completely different plant that looks simmilar. Hellebore comes from the Greek helleboros, which etymonline says may mean plant eaten by fawns. – Peter Shor Jul 31 '12 at 11:10
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    So why is it called 'chatterbox'? Is my source accurate? Because I couldn't find it on MW. – asymptotically Jul 31 '12 at 11:15
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    The origins of common names of plants can be obscure. There is presumably some feature of the helleborine which once reminded someone of a talkative person. This, however, is unlikely to have any bearing on the etymology of ‘chatterbox’ itself. – Barrie England Jul 31 '12 at 11:23
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The Chatterbox Orchid Epipactis Sabine Frankfurt, also known as Helleborine, Stream Orchid is so called because of a fancied resemblance to an open (talking) mouth...

Chatterbox Orchid enter image description here (the Rolling Stones logo for comparison).

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