I proposed “lynx-eyed” on another thread, as a term derived from a fictional character, because I have long thought that the term “lynx-eyed” may have originally been a reference to Lynceus, the Argonauts’ lookout, rather than to the feline lynx. i am not aware of any scientific evidence that lynxes have sharper sight than other feline species. The widespread belief that the lynx does have exceptionally powerful vision (which seems to go back several hundred years), may even stem from some conflation of “lynx” and “Lynceus”, and in fact one or two of the sources available to me go as far as to suggest this. Do people who know lynxes, but have had little or no contact with Greek mythology (in the Himalayas, for instance, or among the aboriginal peoples of America) have the same belief in the preternaturally acute vision of the lynx? Wikipedia’s not much help—under “lynx - mythology” it has only some unsupported tarradiddle.
I know of no better place than wordorigins.org for testing my idea, and I’d be grateful for help. What does the OED say about the earliest use of the term “lynx-eyed”? And does this earliest use carry a clear implication that the lynx is believed to have specially keen vision? (I am secretly hoping that someone well-read, like aldi, will come up with a quotation from --- say --- Milton, or Bacon, referring fairly obviously to Lynceus not the lynx).
Anybody? Please? If I had the OED I’d be doing this myself. Seeing my fancies blown to smithereens will not dismay me --- I’m quite used to it ;-)