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This puzzle is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a tulip word. Here is a list of examples:

+---------------+--------------+
|   TULIP       | NOT TULIP    |
+---------------+--------------+
| tulip         | rose         |
| poppy         | iris         |
| chrysanthemum | orchid       |
| baker         | florist      |
| priest        | photographer |
| reception     | service      |
| expenses      | debts        |
| marriage      | divorce      |
+---------------+--------------+

And CSV version:

TULIP, NOT TULIP
tulip, rose
poppy, iris
chrysanthemum, orchid
baker, florist
priest, photographer
reception, service
expenses, debts
marriage, divorce

QUESTION: What is the rule to tell whether a word is a tulip word or not? Why is it called a tulip word?

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  • $\begingroup$ Isn't "debts" a tulip word? $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Jan 13 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ @VictorStafusa rot13(V qba'g guvax fb, orpnhfr gur O vf fvyrag, fb vg vf abg cebabhaprq, rira gubhtu vg rkvfgf. Cre gur pbeerpg nafjre, vg'f abg jurgure gur o, c, be z rkvfg, ohg engure orpnhfr gurl ner abg fcbxra.) $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 27 at 22:59
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A Tulip Word is

A word with a bilabial consonant, meaning that your Two Lips come together to form one of its consonant sounds (p, m, or b).

| improve this answer | |
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  • $\begingroup$ Spot on! Nice job not being thrown off by the presence of those letters in the "not tulip" category. $\endgroup$ – tmpearce Jan 12 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't "debts" a tulip word? $\endgroup$ – Victor Stafusa Jan 13 at 5:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @VictorStafusa No. To avoid spoiling the answer for others, paste this into rot13 for the explanation: "Gur 'o' vf fvyrag va abezny, Nzrevpna Ratyvfu." $\endgroup$ – MichaelS Jan 13 at 6:02

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