ἁλί + κύει

Validation

Yes

Word-form

ἀλκυών

Transliteration (Word)

alkuōn

English translation (word)

alcyon

Transliteration (Etymon)

hali + kuei

English translation (etymon)

sea + gives birth

Author

Georgius Choeroboscus

Century

9 AD

Source

Id.

Ref.

De spiritibus (excerpta)

Ed.

in Ammonius. De differentia adfinium vocabulorum, Ed. Valckenaer 1822 (2nd ed.), p. 190.12

Translation (En)

alcyon” (alkuōn) comes etymologically from the fact that it gives birth in the sea (en hali kuei); yet the word has no aspiration, because of the adjonction of a kappa

Comment

Due to this popular etymology the word is frequently written in ancient Greek with aspiration (ἁλκυών) ; see Herodianus (Lentz, 1867-1870, 2.285).

Parallels

See ibid. (Valckenaer 1822, 190.25) : ὅθεν τὸ Ἀλκυὼν, ὄνομα ὀρνέου τινὸς ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ τίκτοντος, εἰ καὶ παρὰ τὸ ἐν τῇ ἁλὶ κύειν ἐτυμολογεῖται, ἀλλ' ὅμως ψιλοῦται, διότι ἐπάγεται τὸ Κ.

Very similar definitions: Orion, Etymologicum, A 13.5, 612.2 (Sturz) ; Zonaras, Lexicon, A 127.5 (Tittmann); Etymologicum genuinum A 501 (Lasserre, Livadaras, Rome, 1976); Etymologicum Gudianum A 91 (De Stefani, 1909) ;  Etymologicum Magnum A, Gaisford 1848, p. 66.30); A 69 Lexica Segueriana (Bachmann 1828); Scholia in Iliadem (scholia vetera) 9.561-2a1(Erbse 1969-1988); Scholia in Iliadem (scholia vetera et recentiora e cod. Genevensi gr. 44) 9.553 (Nicole 1891); Scholia in Iliadem (scholia vetera) (= D scholia) 9.558 (Heyne 1833); Scholia In Oppianum, Scholia et glossae in halieutica (scholia vetera et recentiora) 1.425 (Bussemaker 1849); Scholia in Theocritum (scholia vetera) Prol. 7.57b (Wendel 1914).

See implicit references to this etymology: Alcman Fr. 26.1 (Page 1962) in Antigonus 23.2 (Giannini 1965); Apollonius Rhodius 1.1096

Modern etymology

Unknown (Chantraine 1968, 62-3)

Persistence in modern Greek

The Modern Greek form is αλκυόνα (η ψαροφάγος), which is frequently used to denote the same bird (Triandafyllidis Dictionary of MG)..