I would like to know where the word "baleine" (french of "whale") comes from
? or what is the etymology of the word "baleine". i read that it is coming
from the grek "phallaina" but what does it mean ?
Thanks a lot for your answer !
I found this at http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=b&p=1
c.1325, "whalebone," from O.Fr. balaine "whale, whalebone," from L.
ballaena, from Gk. phallaina "whale," related to phallos "swollen penis,"
probably because of a whale's shape, from PIE base *bhel- "to swell" (see
bole). Klein writes that the Gk. to L. transition was "through the medium
of the Illyrian language, a fact which explains the transition of Gk. -ph-
into L. -b- (instead of -p-)."
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