"sea-eagle," a large species of fishing-hawk, mid-15c., osprai, from Anglo-French ospriet, from Medieval Latin avis prede "bird of prey," from Latin avis praedæ, a generic term. Modern osprey apparently represents a confusion of this term in Old French with Latin ossifraga (Pliny), the name of another large bird, for which see ossifrage (q.v.).
"sea-eagle, osprey," c. 1600, from Latin ossifraga "vulture," fem. of ossifragus, literally "bone-breaker," from ossifragus (adj.) "bone-breaking," from os (genitive ossis) "bone" (from PIE root *ost- "bone") + stem of frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break").
By this name Pliny meant "the Lammergeier" (that name is from German and means literally "lamb-vulture"), a very large Old World vulture that swallows and digests bones and was believed also to drop them from aloft to break them and get at the marrow. But in England and France, the word was transferred to the osprey, perhaps on the basis of a rough similarity of sound between the two words.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "bird." It also might be the source of *wyo, *yyo, Proto-Indo-European words for "egg."
It forms all or part of: auspex; auspices; auspicious; avian; aviary; aviation; aviator; avicide; aviculture; aviform; caviar; cockney; egg (n.); ocarina; oo-; oocyte; oolite; oology; osprey; ostrich; oval; ovary; ovate (adj.); oviform; oviparous; ovoviviparous; ovoid; ovulate; ovulation; ovule; ovum.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vih, Avestan vish, Latin avis "bird;" Greek aietos "eagle;" Old Church Slavonic aja, Russian jajco, Breton ui, Welsh wy, Greek ōon, Latin ovum, Old Norse egg, Old High German ei, Gothic ada all meaning "egg."
also *ghed-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to seize, to take."
It forms all or part of: apprehend; apprentice; apprise; beget; comprehend; comprehension; comprehensive; comprise; depredate; depredation; emprise; enterprise; entrepreneur; forget; get; guess; impresario; misprision; osprey; predatory; pregnable; prehensile; prehension; prey; prison; prize (n.2) "something taken by force;" pry (v.2) "raise by force;" reprehend; reprieve; reprisal; reprise; spree; surprise.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek khandanein "to hold, contain;" Lithuanian godėtis "be eager;" second element in Latin prehendere "to grasp, seize;" Welsh gannu "to hold, contain;" Russian za-gadka "riddle;" Old Norse geta "to obtain, reach; to be able to; to beget; to learn; to be pleased with;" Albanian gjen "to find."