This article discusses the meaning and the origin of the rare Latin word draucus. In Martial drauci are strong young men, engaged in different athletic activities, who are often found physically attractive and sexually desirable. This meaning is confirmed by a defixio from Wilten-Veldidena where the word seems to denote figurines of young men. Draucus is usually taken to be a Celtic loanword, but this view is without foundation: the only evidence that supports it consists in a few proper names of unknown origin. Draucus finds no correspondence in attested Gaulish, and no hypothetical Celtic etymology is forthcoming. It is argued that the word draucus can instead be given an Indo-European etymology: given Martial’s penchant for colloquial and vulgar language, it does not seem impossible that he was the first poet to use an inherited word with the meaning “hulk”, “stud” that had been banned from the higher genres of poetry for centuries. The article proposes to connect Latin draucus with Greek δροός “strong” and the Indo-European root *doru- / *dreu̯- that meant both “oak-tree” and “strong” (cf. rōbur vs. rōbustus): Old English trum ‘strong’, Old Irish dron ‘firm, vigorous’, Lith. drū́tas ‘strong’, etc. The problematic -a- in the root can be explained through Thurneysen-Havet’s Law: *drou̯ó ‘strong’ > Italic *drau̯ó-, whence *drau̯iko- > Latin draucus ‘strong’ → draucus, i ‘strong man, stud, hunk’ (compare rauus ‘hoarse’ → ravis ‘hoarseness’ > *rau̯iko > raucus ‘hoarse’).