Word Origin & History
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 Eng. in L. form, orchis (1562). Marred by extraneous -d- in attempt to extract the Latin stem.