One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The common guillemot, Uria aalge.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in George Low (1747–1795), naturalist. Probably from the unattested Norn reflex of the early Scandinavian word represented by Old Icelandic langvé (Icelandic langvía, langvígi, † langvé), Faroese lomvigi (goes to post-classical Latin lomwia), Norwegian † langivie, † lomgivie, † lomvifvie, † lomgive, † langve, † langvie, lomvie, (now usually) lomvi, early modern Danish † lomvibe from the Germanic base of long + a second element of uncertain and disputed origin, perhaps imitative of the bird's call.
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