Disputatio:Leopoldia comosa

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Bulbus! I was wondering, Dr. Dalby, when one of us would get to this. I know you make a big deal of how bulbus without qualification normally refers to the grape hyacinth, but isn't there a fuller form of the name? Because perhaps bulbus should be about the general concept of bulbs (I don't believe you've argued that bulbus never means just "bulb"). --Iustinus 19:33, 14 Iunii 2007 (UTC)

I'm being historical, I suppose. I am sure neither the Greek nor the Latin word was originally a geometrical or "anatomical" term. The word originally and normally referred to (1) this species; the general use for (2) a part of a plant (by Pliny first I think) followed long after; there's a third potential usage, for (3) a category of plants of interest to humans because they can be grown by storing this part, but I haven't yet seen that in Latin.
In other words, the general concept is a late development. In most modern languages, that's what the word is basically used for; but in Latin (except perhaps botanical) not so, I think. But I'm only one person; if you want to write the Bulbus (pars plantae) article, and want to move it to Bulbus, I would be the last in the world to revert you! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 20:33, 14 Iunii 2007 (UTC)
It's a small world. Xaverius has just mentioned (in the Taberna) the more usual Latin word for the general concept. It wasn't bulbus at all, it was capitulum. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 20:40, 14 Iunii 2007 (UTC)
I didn't realize the semantics in this case were that clear cut! And when it comes to matters of this sort, I defer to your knowledge. My power comes almost entirely from... your book ;) For "light bulbs" I almost universally see globi (typically igniferi but sometimes with a different adjective) --Iustinus 23:37, 14 Iunii 2007 (UTC)
As to that, I defer to the modern Latinists! ... merely pointing out that by my reading of the examples in Lewis and Short, globus meant a coherent round lump (of soldiers, earth, or dough, the latter [alone] to be fried in oil). What it didn't mean, unless by wild extension, was a hollow globe: for that, I suspect, you would probably borrow the Greek sphaera and hope for the best. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:36, 15 Iunii 2007 (UTC)