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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: 67, LEIA: B-37) is attested primarily in northern Italy, specifically the Brescia area: CIL V 4136 biuuo (Calvisano), V 4487 biuoniae (dat., Brescia), V 4164 biueionis (gen., Leno), and in Transalpine Gaul the potter's name bio in La Graufesenque and CIL VII 1336,154 biocno with elision of intervocalic //. S. AcS I: 423, 442; KGP: 148 f., Stüber 2005: 101, Delamarre 2007: 213 et passim; Evans 1972: 185 f. (Insular Celtic names). See DLG: 77, Stüber 2005: 88, NIL: 185–188 with n. 13, Zair 2012: 121 f. (on short /i/). 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.