fritillary (n.) Look up fritillary at
popular name of a type of British butterfly, 1857, earlier a type of plant (Fritillaria Meleagris, 1633), from Latin fritillus "dice-box," from fritinnire said to be imitative of the rattle of dice. The plant so called in allusion to the shape of its perianth. The butterfly so called perhaps from resemblance of its markings to those of dice or a chessboard (perhaps on the confused notion that fritillus meant "chessboard").