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Mercury Fig

(In Latin Ficus and Mercurium). The first fig gathered off a fig-tree was by the Romans devoted to Mercury. The proverbial saying was applied generally to all first fruits or first works, as the “Guide to Science” was “my Mercury fig.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Mercury Fig from Infoplease:

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  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: M - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "M"

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