Our man in Thailand (formerly known as our man in Vietnam) sent a photo of a newspaper ad that contained a word I hadn't seen before: orchiectomy.

  • c.

So how did "orchid" and "testicles" get so close? Bam!


1845, introduced by John Lindley in "School Botanty," from Mod.L. Orchideæ (Linnaeus), the plant's family name, from L. orchis, a kind of orchid, from Gk. orkhis (gen. orkheos) "orchid," lit. "testicle," from PIE *orghi-, the standard root for "testicle" (cf. Avestan erezi "testicles," Arm. orjik, M.Ir. uirgge, Ir. uirge "testicle," Lith. erzilas "stallion"). The plant so called because of the shape of its root. Earlier in English in Latin form, orchis (1560s), and in M.E. it was ballockwort (c.1300; see ballocks). Marred by extraneous -d- in attempt to extract the Latin stem.