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REH Word of the Week: gorse


1. any spiny shrub of the genus Ulex, of the legume family, native to the Old World, esp. Europe, having rudimentary leaves, yellow flowers, black pods, and growing in waste places and sandy soil.

Also called furze or (especially British) whin.

[Origin: before 900; Middle English gorst, gors, from Old English; akin to Gerste, hordeum (“barley”)]


Over the cliff we shoved those we had slain and we did up the Roman’s arm with leather strips, binding them tight, so that the arm ceased to bleed. Then once more we took up our way.

On, on; crags reeled above us; gorse slopes tilted crazily.

[from “Men of the Shadows”]