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Puff-ball

A sort of fungus. The word is a corruption of Puck or Pouk ball, anciently called Puck-fist. The Irish name is Pooka-foot. (Saxon, Pulker-fist, a toadstool.) Shakespeare alludes to this superstition when Prospero summons amongst his elves

You whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms.

Shakespeare: Tempest, v. 1.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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