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). The perforation was imagined to be made by the sting of an adder.
- Hyphenation: ad‧der stone
- A stone of varying forms and usually glassy with a naturally formed hole, which is often used as an amulet or bead.
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.
stone with a naturally formed hole