English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
Over the years many words have come into the English language like the word “clover”. The word
clover is from 1000 B.C. Clover comes from the common Name of the species called Tefolium. The
common misunderstanding of the word has to be a symbol of the Irish faith or good fortune. Through
this word we can learn more about the English language and were the word came from.
Three ordinary dictionaries define the word clover differently. In one dictionary (The American
Heritage), Clover is defined as “a various plants of the genus Trifolium of the legume family.” The
second dictionary (Merriam Webster) defines the word clover as “flowers in dense head and including
many that are valuable for forage.” The third dictionary (Webster’s) defines clover as “plants in
the pea family; such a bush clovers.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word clover as “the common name of the species trefoil.”
This word came into the English language around three thousand years ago. The OED defines the word
very similar to other mainstream dictionaries. This definition of the word clover has it being used
in the sense of a plant group. The OED also uses the word clover as “to live in clover” which means
to live luxuriously. “Clover being extremely delicious and fattening to cattle” is a way that is not
usually used today in our language but shows the many ways the word can be used.
An author by the name of Douglas used the word clover in the sentence “the clavyr catcluke and the
common anyld,” in the year 1513 in his book Aenesis XII. Douglas another author used the word clover
in his book The Secreit Place, “my clvaer, and my curldodie” In the year 1538. The author by the
name of Turner used the word clover in 1548 in his book Names of Herbs, “It hath like a claver and
horned cods.” The spelling change of the word clover through these books shows the evolution of the
language and the way we spell and pronounce the words today.
The Boston Globe has many writers who have examined and wrote down their knowledge of topics for
people to read. An author by the name of Ralph Ranelli wrote a piece on clovers. He wrote: “Once you
see clovers, your lawn is in trouble.” Another author by the name of Mike Kennedy wrote that “There
is Kentucky great meadows the new Eden of cane and clover.” Another writer of the Boston Globe David
Abel wrote “Boston Gas Co. gave the man the option to remove the clover shaped flag on his helmet or
leave the business.” the clover seems like it is causing some major problems for people.
How long will the word clover last? Possibly 100 years. The word clover will be around for years to
come because many plants and foliage fill the world. Clovers definition will be around forever for
another reason too, because the Irish believe that the clover brings good luck and well being. I
feel that the word clover will be only known as a good luck charm or a symbol of good fortune
because the scarce amount of clovers left in the environment.