(Rallidae; Ϯ Water Rail R. aquaticus) Probably from Med. French Rasle or Râle  rail (supported by Sundevall 1873: "Nomen Rallus, primum Rasle, Bélon, dein Râle, est vox gallica medii ævi, nec latina, sed usu diuturno probata",  and BOU 1915: “the latinized form of the French Rale, our Rail, Dutch Ral”), but Gessner 1555 states, "Rallus hæc avis circa Venetias appellatur", and Macleod 1954, has “Latinized form of German ralle, rail (bird)”; "83. RALLUS.  Rostrum basi crassius, compressum, dorso attenuatum apicem versus, æquale, acutum.  Pedes tetradactyli, fissi.  Corpus compressum." (Linnaeus 1758); ex “Rallus aquaticus” of Willughby 1676, and “Water Rail. Rallus Aquaticus” of Albin 1731; "Rallus Linné, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, 1, 1758, p. 153. Type, by subsequent designation, Rallus aquaticus Linné. (Fleming, Mem. Wernerian Nat. Hist. Soc., 3, 1821, p. 176.)" (Peters 1934, II, 157). Linnaeus's Rallus comprised five species (R. Crex, R. aquaticus, R. lariformis, R. benghalensis, R. carolinus).
Var. RailusRalus, Rallas, Rullus, Ballus.
Synon. Biensis, Epirallus.

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2019). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2019). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com on 19 January 2019).