alabaster:  Chaucer was the first English author to use the word alabaster: in the Knight’s Tale (1386) he writes of ‘alabaster white and red coral’. It comes, via Old French and Latin, from Greek alábast(r)os, which may be of Egyptian origin. Scottish English used the variant from alabast until the 16th century (indeed, this may predate alabaster by a few years); and from the 16th to the 17th century the word was usually spelled alablaster, apparently owing to confusion with arblaster ‘crossbowman’.
The use of alabaster for making marbles (of the sort used in children’s games) gave rise to the abbreviation alley, ally ‘marble’ in the early 18th century.
translucent whitish kind of gypsum used for vases, ornaments, and busts, late 14c., from Old French alabastre (12c., Modern French albâtre), from Latin alabaster "colored rock used to make boxes and vessels for unguents," from Greek alabastros (earlier albatos) "vase for perfumes," perhaps from Egyptian 'a-labaste "vessel of the goddess Bast." Used figuratively for whiteness and smoothness from 1570s. "The spelling in 16-17th c. is almost always alablaster ..." [OED].