κινέω + ὤψ
English translation (word)
kineō + ōps
English translation (etymon)
set in motion + eye
Scholia in Euripidem
Scholia in Hecubam 456
W. Dindorf, Scholia Graeca in Euripidis tragoedias, 1863
κώπη πόθεν ἐτυμολογεῖται; ἀπὸ τοῦ κινεῖν τοὺς ὦπας καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς.
Where is kōpē "handle" coming from? From kinein tous opas "to move the eyes" and the look.
There is no parallel
Derivative from *keh2p- "to grasp" (Lat. capiō), found in Greek in κάπτω "to swallow" (Beekes, EDG)
Persistence in Modern Greek
The form "κουπί" has replaced "κώπη" in Modern Greek to denote "oar". However, the prefix "κωπη-" survives in the MG words "κωπηλασία" ("rowing"), "κωπηλάτης" ("rower") etc. (Triandafyllidis, Dictionary of MG)
This etymological connection seems very acrobatic. It is reminiscent of ἑλίκωπες parsed οἱ ἑλικοειδῶς τοὺς ὦπας κινοῦντες (scholia vetera in Il. 1.389). However, here the explanation clearly aims at accounting for the meaning "oar", not for the meaning "handle", and oars have nothing to do with eyes. Except for a technical point of vocabulary: ὀπή "hole" is used as the name of the hole through which the oar passes in the hull. The original explanation of κώπη may have been *ἀπὸ τοῦ κινεῖν (διὰ) ὀπάς "from the fact it moves through the rowlock" (cf. e.g. Suda, theta 5, θαλαμία δὲ ἡ ὀπή, δι’ ἧς ἐξέρχεται ἡ κώπη. Eustathius, Comm. Od. 2, 287: εἰ δέ τις ἐνθυμηθείη καὶ τεχνητοὺς εἶναι ὀφθαλμοὺς, ὁποῖοι καὶ οἱ κατὰ τὰς τριήρεις, λέγονται γὰρ ὀφθαλμοὶ ῥητορικῶς ἐν ἐκείναις αἱ ὀπαὶ ὧν αἱ κῶπαι διείρονται, οὐκ ἂν ἀπαγορεύσοι. Scholia in Lycophronem 23: εὐῶπες εὐόφθαλμοι διὰ τὰς ὀπάς, ὅθεν ἐν τῷ πλεῖν κινοῦσι τὰς κώπας). Then ὀπάς, Acc.pl of ὀπή, may have been confused with ὦπας, Acc.pl of ὤψ, and since ὤψ has both masculine and feminine gender, that could lead to the attested redaction *ἀπὸ τοῦ κινεῖν (διὰ) ὀπάς > *ἀπὸ τοῦ κινεῖν ὦπας > *ἀπὸ τοῦ κινεῖν τοὺς ὦπας. The confusion may have been fostered by the presence of the omega in κώπη: ὦπας was formally closer to κώπη than ὀπάς. Ὤψ is here glossed by a synonym, ὀφθαλμός, probably by an other copyist, who did not understand anymore the etymology.