Feb 15, 2014

Wordology, Orchid

Take a look at certain orchids’ roots, and you will notice that they look like testicles. The word, introduced in 1845 for the flower comes from the Greek orchis, which literally translates as “testicle.” Speakers of Middle English in the 1300s came up with a different word, inspired by the same description. They called the flower ballockwort from ballocks, or testicles, which evolved from beallucas, the Old English word for balls.