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 rose
poppy iris
chrysanthemum orchid
baker florist
priest photographer
reception service
expenses debts
marriage divorce

And CSV version:

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?

  • $\begingroup$ Isn't "debts" a tulip word? $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2020 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, 2020 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


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).

  • $\begingroup$ Spot on! Nice job not being thrown off by the presence of those letters in the "not tulip" category. $\endgroup$
    – tmpearce
    Jan 12, 2020 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't "debts" a tulip word? $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2020 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, 2020 at 6:02

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