or American aloe
From the Greek, agauos,
admirable. The Mexicans plant fences of Agave round their wigwams, as a
defence against wild beasts. The Mahometans of Egypt regard it as a
charm and religious symbol; and pilgrims to Mecca indicate their
exploit by hanging over the door of their dwelling a leaf of Agave,
which has the further charm of warding off evil spirits. The Jews in
Cairo attribute a similar virtue to the plant, every part of which is
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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