Is there an etymological connection between words like "arachnid" (related to spiders) and words like "arachidonic" (related to peanuts)?

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No, I think there is none. Arachnid comes from Greek arakhne "spider; spider's web," which probably is cognate with Latin aranea "spider, spider's web" (Etymonline), while arachidonic is connected to arachis – from New Latin: genus that includes the peanut, from Greek: arakis, diminutive of arakos, a legume (Merriam-Webster).

  • Yes, I was just looking up both words in Chantraine (1977), and it says the origins of both words (arachnê and arachidnê/arakos) are unknown, and no connection whatsoever is mentioned. – Cerberus Jan 21 '15 at 13:24
  • Does it specifically address this question or is there just no connection mentioned? – Michael Hoffman Jan 21 '15 at 16:23

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