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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'alive, vital'
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /bi/-
From PIE: *gih₃-u̯o- 'alive, vital'
From Proto-Celtic: *biu̯- 'alive, vital'
Attestation: piuo, piuonei, piuonta, piuos, piuot, piuotialui


The u̯o-adjective *gih₃-u̯ó- 'alive' > PC *biu̯o- > late Gaulish bio-, OIr. béu, béo, MW byw, MBret. beu, OCorn. biu gl. uita (Matasović 2009 s.v. biwo-, LEIA: B-37) is attested in Gaulish personal names biuonia, biuitoni, biocno, etc. (see AcS I: 442, KGP: 148 f., DLG: 77). See Stüber 2005: 88, NIL: 185–188 with n. 13, Matasović 2009 s.v. *biwo-, Zair 2012: 121 f. on short /i/, and Evans 1972: 185 f. for Insular Celtic names. The PIE root *gi̯eh₃- 'live' is also continued in Celtic in the tu-abstract bit- and in the present with u-suffix PIE *gi̯éh₃/gih₃-u- (LIV²: 215), though attested only in the present participle *biu̯ont- 'living' < PIE *gih₃-u̯-ont- (not listed in LIV²).

Corinna Salomon


AcS Alfred Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz, Leipzig: Teubner 1896–1907.
CIL Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. (17 volumes, various supplements)
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.
Evans 1972 D. Ellis Evans, "A comparison of the formation of some Continental and early Insular Celtic personal names", Études Celtiques 13/1 (1972), 171–193.