HomeWild Cat SpeciesSnow leopardWhy are snow leopards called ‘ounce’?


Why are snow leopards called ‘ounce’? — 4 Comments

  1. As for “once” versus “ounce”, I can only assume that English spelling and pronunciation has been malleable over time and to this day.

  2. Assuming your etymology is accurate (lynx -> lonce -> l’once -> once), and keeping in mind uncia [1/12 in Latin] -> once [as in the unit of weight], the two words are already homonyms in French, and “once” [French] becomes “ounce” in English. In short “ounce” [as in the cat] can be traced back to Greek “lynx” and ultimately (perhaps describing the cat’s glowing eyes and night vision) the Indo-European root “lewk-” [white/bright/light/to shine/to see] which also occurs in Latin “lux” and “light” in English.

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