Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A Jewish shoemaker who, in Christian tradition, taunted Jesus Christ on the way to his (Jesus') crucifixion and for that was condemned to wander the Earth until Jesus' return (ie. the second coming).
  • proper n. One of three species of spiderwort plants, Tradescantia pallida (also called Setcreasea purpurea), Tradescantia fluminensis, and Tradescantia zebrina.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. any of several house plants of the genera Zebrina and Tradescantia having white-striped leaves, especially the creeping plants Zebrina pendula and Tradescantia fluminensis.
  • any one of several creeping species of Tradescantia, which have alternate, pointed leaves, and a soft, herbaceous stem which roots freely at the joints. They are commonly cultivated in hanging baskets, window boxes, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a legendary Jew condemned to roam the world for mocking Jesus at the Crucifixion

Etymologies

The plant common name is derived from the Christian tradition figure, presumably at least partly from the tendency of those plants to spread through a garden (ie. wander). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We conversed politely, about the weather and the latest French novels (she found The Wandering Jew affecting, as I recall, while I stood up for the Musketeers) ,10 and she ate a dainty water-ice and started to claw at my thigh under the table.

    Flashman and the Mountain of Light

  • Then there were the "Volksb├╝cher," with their popular stories, among which those connected with Faust and the Wandering Jew have become especially famous.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • It suggests also, that Baron Munchausen, like the Wandering Jew Ahasuerus, has never died.

    Theodore Roosevelt An Intimate Biography

  • And yet there was Eugene Sue selling the Wandering Jew to a newspaper for a hundred thousand francs, while the Philosophy of Conjugal Life, a publication of his own in Hetzel's Diable a Paris, fetched only eight hundred; and the Peasants was paid for only at the rate of sixty centimes a line.

    Balzac

  • "I am the Wandering Jew of thought," was his cry to Eve from the Hotel des Haricots, "always up and walking without repose, without the joys of the heart, without anything besides what is yielded me by a remembrance at once rich and poor, without anything that I can snatch from the future.

    Balzac

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