[ Wiktionary :] From Proto-Indo-European *lugsos, from *leug ‎(“bend, twist”). Cognates include Ancient Greek λύγος ‎(lúgos), Lithuanian lugnas, and Old Norse lykna.

Etymonline does not expose the PIE root directly, and Uni. Texas's IE Lexicon omits it.


De Vaan confirms your etymology. Luctor means "to wrestle". When you're wrestling with someone, you writhe and twist your bodies, so it makes sense that a word for "bend, twist" should have acquired a sense like "wrestle".

  • 2
    Ernout and Meillet 2001 basically say the same thing: "sur la racine on ne peut proposer que des hypothèses peu consistantes. Souvent rapproché de "infléchir, assouplir les members"; c'aurait été d'abord un term du gymnase." I assume LePressentiment understands French, so no English translation.
    – Alex B.
    Mar 4 '16 at 22:33
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    @AlexB. +1. No need for Eng translation as presaged. Thank you for introducing me to amazon.com/….
    – user37
    Mar 5 '16 at 2:51
  • @AlexB.: By the way, De Vaan always also takes E–M and W–H into account.
    – Cerberus
    Mar 5 '16 at 3:00

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