April 07, 2016
- tulip (noun)
- 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."