Cognate with Lithuanian alkas, elkas ("sanctuary, grove"), Latvian elks ("idol"). Pokorny (p. 32) proposes a derivation from Proto-Indo-European *alk- ("sacred place, sanctuary; idol") (= *h?elk-), from Proto-Indo-European *h?lek- ("to defend"), whence Ancient Greek (aléx?, "defend, ward off"), Ancient Greek ? (alk?, "defence, help, strength"), Latin ulciscor ("avenge"). Kroonen, however, doubts this, adding that "[g]iven the root noun inflection, it is conceivable that the word was adopted from a local non-I[ndo-]E[uropean] language by Germanic and Baltic after their arrival in Europe" (2013:22 s.v. *alh-).
|consonant stemDeclension of *alhs (consonant stem)|