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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'fight'
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: uncertain
From Proto-Celtic: *brist- 'fight'
Attestation: priś


Lexically in OIr. bres 'fight, hit' < *bristā, also derived OIr. bresal, MBret. MCorn. bresel 'fight, war' < *briste/ilo/ā, and the secondary verb OIr. brissid 'beat, break', onomastically in the personal names OIr. bresal, arch. bresuall, OCorn. combresel < *(kom)bristou̯alos (Irslinger 2002: 420, Stifter 2019: 190), CIL III 14359.21 [c]ombrissae (gen., Pann. sup.) and possibly RIG L-74 bristas (gen., Limoges) (Hamp 1990: 183, DLG: 88 f., Delamarre 2007: 214, Delamarre 2019: 155, Stifter 2019: 190). The etymology is not clear; OIr. bres is derived from the PIE root *bʰrei̯H- 'cut' (*bʰriH-st-ah₂-) by IEW: 166 (cf. LEIA: B-85, Irslinger 2002: 420). Hamp 1992: 218 also considers the possibility that Gaul. bristā* belongs with MW brys 'quick; hurry' < *bʰris-ti- (cf. Schrijver 1990). Cf. also Zair 2012: 157. In any case, the retention of etymological *st is a surprising archaism.

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.
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.