I’d like to use the Latin word for garlic, allium, as an adjective, but can’t find any examples of this being done. Is there a rule for doing this with nouns ending in ‑um? Alliumnal sounds good, but I suspect that’s just because it sounds like autumnal. Any help much appreciated.

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    What's wrong with garlicky?
    – Henry
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 14:23
  • Sorry, but downvoted due to no evidence of research. Commented Sep 2, 2012 at 17:48

3 Answers 3


Alliaceous is used botanically for plants of the garlic/onion family; might it fit the bill? (It’s much more standard than allial, I think, going both by dictionaries and google.)

Now I want to go out and order something big and garlicky at a restaurant, just so I can smack my lips and say “Mmmmm! Alliaceo-licious!”. Or, not quite, because it would just confuse people. But I’m enjoying the idea…

  • 2
    The correct word always fits the bill. Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 4:31
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialliaceous, perhaps?
    – MT_Head
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 7:29

Allium is already used in English to mean "a bulbous plant of a genus that includes the onion and its relatives". You could use allium as modifier.

[Reference: the New Oxford American Dictionary.]


Alluvium gives alluvial, pericardium gives pericardial, mycelium gives mycelial, so I would go with allial.

  • 5
    But you risk a "huh?" from your readers.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 14:52
  • 1
    Colin makes a good point. If it's not a scientific context, you might consider replacing with "reeking" or "offensive"
    – Neil
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 15:08
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    Well, the constraint is “I'd like to use the Latin for…”. Given that, the solution is clearly allial. Now, if you have a different writing constraint, clearly garlicky is a better choice.
    – F'x
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 15:27
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    I'm writing an informal essay on growing garlic for the first time. I'm attempting to both add humor and to avoid repetition of the word garlic. My sentence is, "Growing my own was the final _______ frontier." So, obviously, "reeking" won't work. "Allial" does have the huh?-factor, but might be worth it. Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 15:50
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    As long as you've introduced "allium" beforehand, people should understand what you mean when you write "allial". It might just take them a little while, that's all.
    – user1579
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 17:27

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