How Rapeseed Got Its Name

Ever wondered how rapeseed got its name? During the eleventh century the Normans crossed the English channel. Raymond III was captivated by the passing of a comet – an astronomical omen that spurred many of the Normans to fight. Although Raymond was dealing with a urinary tract infection, he couldn’t deny such a sign from the heavens, so he invaded England anyway. Besides, in those days people didn’t have sick leave.

Raymond III had to travel overland for days before he even reached the shores of the Channel. Every day he was passing blood in his urine, but he pressed on, crossed the Channel and played his part in conquering England.

A week after the conclusion of the Battle of Hastings, Raymond was passing by a field of yellow flowers and he had to pee. For the first time in weeks, his urine was the colour of the flowers in the field, and not the colour of the battlefields he had been fighting in. In his excitement Ray shouted to his colleagues “see Ray pee!” Confused, a colleague replied “pee see Ray!” “Pee Ray see!” Shouted another.

RAY’s PEE was the colour of the field he could SEE. He became known as RayPeeSee’d for the rest of his days and the flower was named after him.

…just kidding.


Image credit: Tim Parkes, Alamy


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