Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 28 19:50:07 UTC 2013

I was making a joke, of course, but, these days, it's hard to tell.
"Leek" does appear to be related to a Russian word, but not the most
obvious one--"luk" (onion, although the word for "bow" (weapon) is the
same; if these both go back to the IE root for "strong", it might make
sense). To make things worse, Welsh Onions (not directly related to
leeks, oddly enough, because you eat the "leaves" on Welsh onions and
the "stem" on the leeks) is really Japanese onion, but early references
claim that it came from Siberia (note one of the examples in OED). I've
brought up this subject some time ago, although I did not check the
specifics of that post today. As for "lekker", its ubiquity is a
joke--at least, among those who have to interact with the Dutch at one
point or another. Even the Dutch themselves joke about it, so the word
has certain pungency. But, no, I did not expect either one of these to
be etymologically related to "leech".


On 4/28/2013 3:27 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> On Apr 28, 2013, at 3:18 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> What about "leeks" and the ubiquitous Dutch "lekker".
>>     VS-)
> As in those recipes that begin "Take a leek"?  It appears that "leek" has a different root (OE leac), one widespread in Germanic but unknown outside of it except for borrowings from Germanic (as in Finnish).  I don't know what the Welsh is.

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