1934, American English, from Yiddish laks, from Middle High German lahs "salmon," from Proto-Germanic *lakhs-, from the common IE root for the fish, *laks- (source also of Lithuanian lašiša, Russian losos, Polish łosoś "salmon").
early 13c., samoun, the North Atlantic salmon, from Anglo-French samoun, Old French salmun (Modern French saumon), from Latin salmonem (nominative salmo) "a salmon," probably originally "leaper," from salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)), though some dismiss this as folk etymology. Another theory traces the Latin word to Celtic.
Thompson ["Glossary of Greek Fishes"] writes that "The Salmon does not enter the Mediterranean. It is not mentioned by any Greek author, nor by any Latin writer except those two" [Pliny and Ausonius].
It replaced Old English læx, from PIE *lax, the more usual word for the fish (see lox). The classical -l- was restored in English from 16c., though Scott still uses saumon. In reference to a pinkish-orange color like that of the flesh of the fish, it is recorded by 1786. Related: Salmonic.
"red resinous substance," 1550s, perhaps immediately from French lacce, displacing or absorbing earlier lacca (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin lacca. All these are from Persian lak, from Hindi lakh (Prakrit lakkha), from Sanskrit laksha "red dye," which is of uncertain origin.
According to Klein, it means literally "one hundred thousand" and is a reference to the insects that gather in great numbers on the trees and create the resin. But others say lakh is perhaps an alteration of Sanskrit rakh, from an IE root word for "color, dye" [Watkins]. Still another guess is that Sanskrit laksha is related to English lax, lox "salmon," and the substance perhaps was so called from being somewhat the color of salmon [Barnhart]. Also see shellac (n.).
moderate-sized wildcat with a short tail, penciled ears, more or less spotted fur, and 28 teeth, inhabiting Eurasia, Africa, and North America; mid-14c., from Latin lynx (source of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian lince), from Greek lyngx, an old name of the lynx found also in Armenian, Germanic, and Balto-Slavic, though often transformed or altered. Often linked to PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness," in reference to its gleaming eyes or its ability to see in the dark, but there are phonetic problems with that and Beekes suggests a loan from a non-IE substrate language.
If that men hadden eyghen of a beeste that highte lynx, so that the lokynge of folk myghte percen thurw the thynges that withstonden it. [Chaucer's "Boethius," c. 1380]
Cognates probably are Lithuanian lūšis "lynx," Old High German luhs, German luchs, Old English lox, Dutch los, Swedish lo, Armenian lusanunk'. The dim northern constellation was added in 1687 by Johannes Hevelius. Lyncean "pertaining to a lynx" (from Greek lynkeios) is attested from 1630s.