[ 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.

1 Answer 1


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".

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    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, 2016 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, 2016 at 2:51
  • @AlexB.: By the way, De Vaan always also takes E–M and W–H into account.
    – Cerberus
    Mar 5, 2016 at 3:00

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