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Type: lexical
Meaning: unknown
Language: prob. Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /an/-
Attestation: ana, anisa


Among the host of Continental Celtic personal names in an°, which include those with prefixed privative an-, ande- and ad- in various stages of assimilation, some may be formed from a lexical base an- (or derived from a compound with a corresponding first element), though the identification is often difficult. Candidates include primarily simplex and derived names, e.g. ana, anno, annius, anniola, annianus, anniccus (with hypocoristic gemination? Delamarre 2007: 20, 22 f.).

One might consider a connection with the Celtic root ana- 'breath, inspiration' in the Gaulish names anauus, anaugeno, annausonius, maybe aneunos (Lambert 1994: 95: participle 'inspired'), which is connected with OBret. onomastic anau-, W anaw 'poetic inspiration, riches' < *h₂enh₁-u̯on-, also in anant 'poets' < *h₂n̥h₁-n̥t-, OIr. anae 'wealth, riches', anair 'poem, poetic metre', OIr. an- 'breathe, wait' (LEIA: A-71 f.), MW eneit 'soul', Gaulish RIG L-98 anatia (pl.) 'spirits' according to Fleuriot and Lambert (see DLG: 44 with literature), all from the PIE root *h₂enh₁- 'breathe' (see Stifter 2016b: 41). Cf. also the Irish theoynm anu. OIr. án 'splendid, fiery, bright' (LEIA: A-72) has fitting semantics for personal onomastics, but its etymology and PC form is unclear.

Meid 2005: 217 s.v. ana, ano, annitio identifies the base as the Lallwort *ano- 'ancestor' (IEW: 36 f., though without lexical Celtic attestations).

Less likely for personal names is an association with ana 'swamp', which is attested in toponyms (DLG: 43 f.).

Lochner von Hüttenbach 1989: 16 f. with older literature considers the base of annius to be Italic.

David Stifter, Corinna Salomon


Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.
DLG Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental, 2nd, revised edition, Paris: Errance 2003.