In the French secondary education system, a lycée is a kind of government-funded high school that students go through for three years before heading off to a university or job. The institution was established in 1801 through Napoleon's education reforms, and (since the revolutionaries drew heavily on classical ideas about society and governance) was named after Aristotle's school, the Lyceum or Lycaeum. This was the term for a specific building in Athens where students would walk around the halls and learn about philosophy. It stood next to a temple to Apollo, who was nicknamed Apollo Lyceus - hence the name. Lyceus means "wolfish", and the adjective was applied to the god because he was traditionally associated with the animal. Finally, it all traces to the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction wlkwo, "wolf".
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.