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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'cow, cattle'
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /bou̯/-
From PIE: *gōu̯- 'cow, cattle'
From Proto-Celtic: *bou̯- 'cow, cattle'
Attestation: kulopoui, pou, toutiopouos


Well attested in the Celtic lexeme OIr. , MW bu, etc. (Matasović 2009 s.v. *bow-, McCone 1991: 37 f.) from a root noun *bou̯s. As onomastic element, the morpheme appears only in simplex names (e.g., bouus, bouius, bouia) and as first or middle element in compounds (e.g., bomarus, boualos), see KGP: 153, DLG: 79 f., Delamarre 2007: 213). As second element, it is only attested, arguably, in names based on reformed dvigu compounds, viz. as unsuffixed zero grade in OIr. buchet < PC *bu-kanto-s ← *kanto-bu-s 'having / being worth a hundred cows' (McCone 1991: 42 f.) and with a i̯o-suffix in Gaul. contobouios (contobouiouindillus) 'id.' (DLG: 125, Delamarre 2005, Lambert 2018). The thematised name bouus leads Delamarre (DLG: 80) to suggest that the root noun may itself have been thematised in Gaulish, but the simplex names are probably all hypocoristic (cf. Stüber et al. 2009: 275). The only attestation in Cisalpine Celtic as second element with a simple o-stem is therefore uncertain.

Corinna Salomon


Delamarre 2005 Xavier Delamarre, "Boruoboendoa à Utrecht, Contobouiovindillus à Pompéi", Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 54 (2004–2005), 130–131.
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.