salep

salep

[sal-ep]
noun
a starchy, demulcent drug or foodstuff consisting of the dried tubers of certain orchids.

Origin:
1730–40; < Turkish salep < dialectal Arabic saḥlab, perhaps shortened variant of Arabic khusā al-thaʿlab fox's testicles; cf. saloop

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salep (ˈsælɛp)
 
n
the dried ground starchy tubers of various orchids, used for food and formerly as drugs
 
[C18: via French and Turkish from Arabic sahlab, shortened from khusy ath-tha`lab, literally: fox's testicles, name of an orchid]

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Word Origin & History

salep
1736 (also saloop, 1712) "a starch or jelly made from dried tubers of orchid-like plants, formerly used as a drug," from Turk. salep, from dial. pronunciation of Arabic thaeleb, which usually is taken to be a shortening of khasyu 'th-thaeleb, lit. "fox's testicles" (cf. native Eng. name dogstones).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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