April 07, 2016
tulip (noun)
\TOO-lip\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: any of a genus of Eurasian herbs related to the lilies that grow from bulbs, have large lance-shaped leaves, and are widely grown for their showy cup-shaped flowers; also : the flower or bulb of a tulip
How do you use it?
We planted tulip bulbs last fall, and soon we'll see the flowers in a variety of colors beautifying our gardens.
Are you a word wiz?

Just like the flower, we imported the word "tulip" from another place. Which language do you think "tulip" comes from?

You may think of the tulip as a Dutch flower, and you might have guessed that its name comes from a Dutch word. It turns out, however, that the name comes from Turkish. The Dutch certainly grow many tulips, but they didn't develop them; they imported the plant from Turkey. The Turkish name for the tulip was "tulbent," which literally means "turban." Apparently, some Turks thought that the flowers of the tulip looked like a turban. English speakers used the flower's scientific name ("tulipa") as the basis for our word "tulip."
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