baleen (n.) Look up baleen at
early 14c., "whalebone," from Old French balaine "whale, whalebone" (12c.), from Latin ballaena, from Greek phallaina "whale" (apparently phallos "swollen penis," perhaps because of a whale's body shape, with a fem. suffix), possibly from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole). The b- (instead of -p-) for ph- substitution shows it entered Latin through a third language (Klein suggests Illyrian).