Personally I find anything eely as disgusting as stuffed marrow with its watery wartime associations (sorry Warwick, but you might at least call it kolokithakia yemista!) So I have never studied the etymology of eely things. I suppose I had always assumed that lampreys were eels of some kind. But the other night some Greek friends were telling me what they’d been eating at a posh psarotaverna. They said was something like χελι, which I knew to be eel, only it was nastier – in the ugly, not-to-be-met-on-a-dark-night sense – and a different thing altogether. I thought they were saying “Smyrna” which certainly has ugly connotations for a Greek, but it turned out to be “σμερνα“
Looking up σμερνα at home later, I found it was “moray or “lamper eel” – in other words, lamprey. You can see why the things are reckoned to be nasty:
“Lampreys resemble eels in external appearance and, although not related to the true eels, are sometimes called lamprey eels
An ancient fish that still resembles fossils that are 360 million years old, the lamprey lacks a sympathetic nervous system, a spleen, and scales. Most adult lampreys are parasitic, sucking the blood of other fishes. The horny teeth, set in the circular, jawless mouth, attach to the prey and the lamprey feeds as it is carried along. Lampreys have an anticoagulant in the saliva that keeps the blood of the victim fluid. Some freshwater lampreys eat flesh as well as blood."
I guess this still counts as on-topic since it relates to what some people are eating just now in Crete. Me, I'd rather eat stuffed marrow!