Borrowed from Greek. Further etymology unsettled. Older sources believed the word was "a rare wild feline name with a solid IE etymology" (NEI), but this view has been mostly abandoned. "Non-IE, and probably a loan from a Eur. substrate language" (RB). "A European word for 'lynx' (GK). "An animal designation belonging to the European substratum, *lu(n)ḱ/ģ-(n)-... the association with 'shine, light' (an animal with shining eyes or a shining fur) is folk-etymological" (HKM). "All potential cognates show some kind of irregular sound correspondence: the laryngeal of Baltic, the r of Slavic, the n of Greek, the g of Irish. Perhaps these irregularities result from multiple tabooistic distortions. The alternative is to assume repeated borrowing from a non-Indo-European language (or languages)." (GK)
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