Wart vs wort

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A wart is a benign growth on the skin that is caused by a human papillomavirus, a wart is also called a verruca. Warts are contagious. The word wart is also sometimes used to describe any undesirable trait, physical or otherwise. An obnoxious person is also sometimes referred to informally as a wart. Wart is derived from the Old English word wearte.

Wort is a word that is used in plant names and herb names, particularly plants that were once used as medication or food. Wort also means the liquid that is obtained by soaking ground malt in warm water, in the process of making malt liquor. The word wort is derived from the Old English word wyrt, which means plant, spice, root.


“Inside the wart, the stem mother lays eggs; the wart enlarges and eventually cracks open and releases phylloxera to lay eggs in the crevices of the tree which is the beginning of next year’s cycle.” (The Troy Messenger)

Hurst said the reduction in genital wart cases in New Zealand mirrored international trends in countries where similar vaccination programmes had been introduced. (The Marlborough Express)

There is nothing I hate more than unsightly warts appearing out of nowhere, but not to fear there are some great natural cures out there that can solve all your wart woes for the rest of your living days. (The Randburg Sun)

NIH says St. John’s wort “may help some types of depression, a medical condition affecting one in 10 adults in the U.S., similar to treatment with standard prescription antidepressants, but the evidence is not definitive.” (The Rapid City Journal)

The breakwall in nearby Grand Marais is home to unusual arctic flora including the carnivorous butterwort. (The Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Bring along a copy of “A Field Guide to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey” by the estimable Howard Boyd and you’ll be able to tell a St. Andrew’s cross from a St. Peter’s wort, a painted turtle from a stinkpot, and a dog-day cicada from a meadow spittlebug. (The Star-Ledger)