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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'proud / wrathful' (?)
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /belg/-
From PIE: *bʰelǵʰ-o- 'swollen' (?)
From Proto-Celtic: *belgo- 'proud / wrathful' (?)
Attestation: pelkui


A base belg- appears in a handful of personal names (see pelkui) and most prominently in the ethnonym belgās (Latin belgae, see De Bernardo Stempel 1999: 52, n. 33, Schrijver 1995: 300). Possibly from the PIE root *bʰelǵʰ- 'to swell' (IEW: 125 f.: belgae 'the wrathful ones', Falileyev 2010: 9, 71 'the proud ones'), which is attested in OIr. bolg m. 'sack, belly', MW boly 'belly' etc. < *bolgo-, whose existence in Gaulish is indicated by Latin sources (bulga) and ModFr. bouge (LEIA: B-66 f., FEW s.v. bulga). Pokorny translates 'the wrathful ones' probably based on the Germanic semantics (OS belgan 'be angry' etc., see Kroonen 2013 s.v. *belgan). Cf. also LEIA: B-68.

Corinna Salomon


De Bernardo Stempel 1999 Patrizia De Bernardo Stempel, Nominale Wortbildung des älteren Irischen. Stammbildung und Derivation [= Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 15], Tübingen: Niemeyer 1999.
Falileyev 2010 Alexander Falileyev, Dictionary of Continental Celtic Place-Names. A Celtic Companion to the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, Aberystwyth: CMCS 2010.
FEW Walther von Wartburg, Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Bâle: 1922–2002.