Here’s an obscure, and far-from-earthshaking question: Why is
Sardonyx called that? The word “sardonic”, which means pretty much
what it sounds like (a combination of “sarcastic” and “ironic”),
according to my dictionary, derives from a poisonous herb, sardonnia,
which distorted the face of a person who ate it. Seems unlikely this
has anything to do with the stone–and is certainly not very
appealing. Anybody know how these things get named?