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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'worth, honour'
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /brīg/-
From Proto-Celtic: *brīg- 'worth, honour'
Attestation: prikou, priś


Lexically in OIr. bríg < *brīgā 'might, worth', MW bri 'honour, esteem', MBret. bry 'respect', Co. bry 'respect, honor', and also Gaul. *brigo- 'worth' as reconstuctable from Romance words (DLG: 88, FEW: 543, Delamarre 2019: 153 f.). No IE etymology has been established – IEW: 476 f. compares the Insular Celtic words to ModGerm. Krieg from a potential PIE proto-form *griH-g(ʰ )-o- (Kroonen 2013 s.v. *krīgan, but cf. Zair 2012: 114). Matasović 2009 s.v. *brigo/ā- suggests that it may go back to the same root as brig- 'height, elevation', which is impossible due to long /ī/.

brīg- rather than brig- is the base which is generally assumed to underlie Gaulish compound names in brigo- (e.g. brigomarus, brigouix, brigomaglos) and hypocoristics (e.g. RIG M-11 brigios, brigia, brigionus) (KGP: 156, GPN: 314–316, Lochner von Hüttenbach 1989: 36, DLG: 88, Delamarre 2007: 214 et passim), as well as toponyms like brigomagus (Falileyev 2010: 81, Delamarre 2012: 89). For some isolated forms in brig-, in which the length of the root vowel cannot be determined (e.g. brigindoni, GPN: 314–316), no decision can be made between this morpheme and brig-.

Corinna Salomon


Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.
Delamarre 2012 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de lieux celtiques de l'Europe ancienne (-500/+500). Dictionnaire, Arles: Errance 2012.
Delamarre 2019 Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire des thèmes nominaux du gaulois. I. Ab- / Iχs(o)-, Paris: Les Cent Chemins 2019.
DLG Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental, 2nd, revised edition, Paris: Errance 2003.
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.