He does not know a libel from a lupine. In Latin: “Ignorat
quid distent ara lupinis,” “He does not know good money from a
counter, or a hawk from a handsaw.” The Romans called counters lupines
or beans. A libel was a small silver coin the tenth part of a denarius
= the as.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Lupine from Fact Monster:
- lupine - lupine lupine or lupin, any species of the genus Lupinus, annual or perennial herbs or shrubs of ...
- bluebonnet - bluebonnet: bluebonnet: see lupine.
- buffalo clover - buffalo clover: buffalo clover: see lupine.
- breadroot - breadroot breadroot or Indian breadroot,perennial plant (Psoralea esculenta) of the family ...
- pulse, in botany: The Pulses and Their Uses - The Pulses and Their Uses Economically, the family is second only to the grasses in importance. ...