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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'bright, shining'
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /leu̯k/-
From PIE: *leu̯k-o- 'bright, shining'
From Proto-Celtic: *leu̯ko- 'bright, shining'
Attestation: leucuro, leukururitu


From the PIE root *leu̯k- 'to brighten' (IEW: 687–689, LIV²: 418 f.); the adjective in o in Celtic: MIr. luach 'glowing white', MW llug 'eyesight, perception' (Matasović 2009: 145 f.). Frequent in Continental Celtic personal names, in simplex names and as first element in compounds (KGP: 231, GPN: 358 f., DLG: 200, Delamarre 2007: 224 et passim; see also lexical Gaulish RIG L-6 leucutio or leucullo). We follow Delamarre in positing the morpheme with diphthong /eu̯/ rather than /ou̯/, because both potential Cisalpine Celtic attestations and about half the other Continental Celtic attestations show /eu̯/ instead of expected rounded /ou̯/. Schmidt (KGP: 231) remarks upon the frequency of forms with /eu̯/ in the "Illyrian" realm (from Noricum leu[co]camulo (Lochner von Hüttenbach 1989: 91 f.), leucimara), and suggests that the absence of rounding is due to substrate influence (cf. also Meid 2005: 274), but leu̯k- is also quite common in the west, and lou̯k- also occurs on the east (see the data in Delamarre 2007). The epithet of Mars le/oucetius is attested in both variants. From Transpadana, cf. leuconius (Val Sabbia, CIL V 4902). leu̯k- is also frequent in toponyms, see DLG: 200.

In Cisalpine Celtic, the morpheme in both attestations appears with u rather than regular o in the stem and an r-Suffix leu̯kur-.

Corinna Salomon


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.