I'm still writing my article on words of Dutch origin, as I mentioned yesterday, and today I looked up 'tulip'. I thought that the word 'tulip' might have a Dutch origin, since we associate tulips so much with the Netherlands these days; however, I was wrong.
The word for 'tulip' is very similar in many European languages, whether Romance, Germanic or Slavic. Ultimately, all these variants come from the Turkish dul(i)band, which, itself, comes from the Persian dulban, meaning turban. Why? Because tulips were first cultivated in the Ottoman Empire, and introduced to western Europe in the 16th century. Moreover, the flowers were thought to resemble turbans. Thus, the words 'tulip' and 'turban' have the same origin. The OED tells us that 'tulipant' and 'turbant' were the most common versions/ spellings of 'turban' in the 17th century. Johnson's Dictionary of 1755 does not have 'tulipant' but it lists turban, turband and turbant as three versions of the same thing (defined as 'the cover worn by Turks on their heads'.