ASPIC (French, from Lat. aspis), an asp or viper found in
Egypt whose bite is supposed to cause a swift and easy death,
hence poetically a term for any venomous snake. From association,
perhaps, with the coldness of the aspic (as in the French
proverb, froid comme un aspic), the word is used for a savoury
jelly containing meat, fish or eggs, &c. It is also the botanical
name of the Lavandula spica, or spikenard, from which a white,
aromatic and highly inflammable oil is distilled, called huile d’aspic.
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