English translation (word)
English translation (etymon)
λάλλαι· αἱ ψῆφοι αἱ παραθαλάσσιαι. ἐκ τοῦ λαλῶ γίνεται ῥηματικὸν ὄνομα λάλη, καὶ πλεονασμῷ τοῦ λ λάλλη. λάλλαι δέ εἰσιν αἱ ψῆφοι αἱ παραθαλάσσιαι, αἱ ὑπὸ τῶν κυμάτων κινούμεναι καὶ ψόφον τινὰ ἀποτελοῦσαι. οὕτως ὁ αὐτὸς ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ βιβλίῳ.
Lallai "pebbles": the little stones of the seashore. From the verbe lalō "to talk" is derived the substantive lalē "talk", and, by adjunction of the l, lallē "pebble". Lallai are the little stones of the seashore that are moved by the waves and produce some sound. That is what the same author says in the same book.
Etym. Magnum, Kallierges, p. 555, l. 49 (Λάλλαι: Ἐκ τοῦ λαλῶ γίνεται ῥηματικὸν ὄνομα λάλη, καὶ πλεονασμῷ τοῦ λ, λάλλη. Λάλλαι δέ εἰσιν αἱ ψῆφοι αἱ παραθαλάσσιαι, αἱ ὑπὸ τῶν κυμάτων κινούμεναι καὶ ψόφον τινὰ ἀποτελοῦσαι)
The word that Philoxenus comments here is only attested elsewhere in Theocritus, Idyllia, 22, 39, and in plural form. This etymology is obviously fanciful, but is interesting, because it is based on two wordplays: on the one hand, the phonic proximity between lallai and lalē "talk", supported by the sound of waves on the seashore; on the other, the paronymy between psēphos, "pebble, little stone", and psophos, "sound, noise".