adder stone

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Alternative forms[edit]


adder +‎ stone. The word is attested since the late 16th century, its earliest use being found in a work by Arthur Golding (c. 1536 – 1606).[1] The perforation was imagined to be made by the sting of an adder.[2]


  • Hyphenation: ad‧der stone


adder stone (plural adder stones)

  1. A stone of varying forms and usually glassy with a naturally formed hole, which is often used as an amulet or bead.
    • 1918, Astra Cielo, Signs, Omens and Superstitions, New York, N.Y.: George Sully and Company, OCLC 465939913, page 63:
      Adder stones are supposed to be efficacious against disease of cattle.
    • 1963, Archie Carr, The Reptiles, New York, N.Y.: Time-Life Books, OCLC 49032606, page 149:
      These adder stones were actually old beads found about the countryside, but the Druids claimed that they were produced by a group reproductive effort of a summer congress of adders, and held some of the magic of the parent snakes. Adder stones strengthened their owners in legal disputes and helped them get access to kings.
    • 2014, Mark Rogers, The Esoteric Codex: Magic Objects I, [Raleigh, N.C.]: Lulu Press, Inc., page 15:
      An adder stone is a type of stone, usually glassy, with a naturally occurring hole through it.
    • 2015, Colleen Houck, Reawakened, New York, N.Y.: Delacorte Press, ISBN 978-0-385-37656-3:
      I saw a flash on the stony hill on the other side of the pool, as if a mirror were reflecting the light cast by the hole in Dr. Hassan′s adder stone.




  1. ^ adder-stone” (US) / “adder-stone” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Joseph Wright (1898) The English Dialect Dictionary, volume I (A–C), London: Published by Henry Frowde, Amen Corner, E.C., page 15

Further reading[edit]