Is it a guy thing?


Say it: orchid.

Now, say it with your eyes closed: orchid.

Listen to that word. To me, it’s a strange one.

I see from the dictionary that orchid comes from the Greek, órkhis, which in its original context apparently referred to a particular plant that had an underground tuber with a specific double-globular shape, so the word órkhis was a natural to refer to this shape from the animal-world—órkhis meaning testicle.

WikiPee agrees with my dictionary on this….

This shape concept-name may well be a common one to apply to the plant world, as aguacate, Mexican Spanish for avocado, has the same meaning as órkhis in Nahuatl (aguacate is a corruption of ahuacatl).

Or it’s a guy thing*.

* Polyorchidism is when the individual has more than two testes. Egad. (Whereever did this little wander in linguistics and natural history come from? Mystery to me; it sure wasn’t planned!)

One comment

  1. Pooh says:

    Some orchids carry the “it’s a guy thing” even further. There is a species whose flowers resemble female wasps. The male wasps, being guys, try to mate with the pseudo-female flower, instead carrying pollen from one plant to the next.

    This was part of a DVD called “The Birds and the Bees” or something like that, but affectionately referred to as “The Plant Porn Movie” by the biology teachers at Ladue.