From Lexicon Leponticum
Jump to navigationJump to search

Attestation: MI·17 (caledonos) (1)
Language: Celtic
Word Type: proper noun
Semantic Field: personal name

Grammatical Categories: gen. sg. masc.
Stem Class: on

Morphemic Analysis: kal-ed-onos (?)
Phonemic Analysis: /kalēdonos/
Meaning: 'of Caledu'


Genitive of a Celtic on-stem personal name kaledū (cf. Salomon 2023: 27), which finds exact comparanda in Gaulish coin legends (RIG M-88–90, M-257 caledu, cf. also CIL VIII 19745 caledia, and repeated caledō (see Delamarre 2007: 214). The name is certainly connected with the ethnonym kaledones, though the exact relationship – kaledones being simply the plural of kaledū without derivation suffix in either form – is unclear. There is general agreement that the base is kal- 'hard' as in *kaleto- 'id.', but – as asserted by Zimmer 2006: 165 f. (pace Luján 2003: 200) – kaled- cannot be directly compared with kalet-, which is formed with a different suffix; the second element/suffix -ed- has not been convincingly explained. The Latin attestations of the ethnonym show long /ē/ (calēdones), which cannot be etymological in Gaulish (where /ē/ > /ī/); Gaulish /ē/ could be < */ei̯/, but no such suffix is known. If /ē/ in Latin should be secondary in some way (though it is not evident how or why), the suffix can be the ubiquitous, but enigmatic -ed-. See the morpheme page on a potential connection with the suffix of Lat. calidus – it could be considered whether the root present in kaledū, kaledones (and any of the unsuffixed bases kalo- in Gaulish PNN) is not the same as in the Insular Celtic 'hard'-words, but *k̑el- 'warming', which is not lexically attested in Celtic. Zimmer 2006: 165 f., who assumes that /ē/ is etymological and suggests that the Romans may have encountered the ethnonym before /ē/ > /ī/ (and the coin legends also reflect that state, or show influence from Latin?), proposes an analysis as a compound *kal-pēd-h₃n- 'hard-footed', but lengthened-grade is rare in *ped- as a second element in Celtic, and the absence of a stem vowel in the first element makes a compound unlikely.

David Stifter, 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.