Baleens

baleen

[buh-leen]
noun
whalebone ( def 1 ).

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English balene (< Anglo-French baleine, beleine) < Latin bal(l)ēna, variant of bal(l)aena whale < an unidentified language, also the source of Greek phál(l)aina whale; replacing Middle English balayn < Middle French balaine whale(bone) < Latin, as above

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World English Dictionary
baleen (bəˈliːn)
 
n
whalebone
 
[C14: from Latin bālaena whale; related to Greek phalaina whale]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

baleen
early 14c., "whalebone," from O.Fr. balaine (12c.) "whale, whalebone," from L. ballaena, from Gk. phallaina "whale" (apparently related to phallos "swollen penis," probably because of a whale's shape), from PIE base *bhel- (2) "to swell" (see bole). Klein writes that the Greek
to Latin transition was "through the medium of the Illyrian language, a fact which explains the transition of Gk. -ph- into L. -b- (instead of -p-)."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
baleen   (bə-lēn')  Pronunciation Key 
A flexible horny substance hanging in fringed plates from the upper jaw of baleen whales. It is used to strain plankton from seawater when feeding. Also called whalebone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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