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