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Attestation: MI·26 (plios) (1)
Language: Celtic
Word Type: proper noun
Semantic Field: personal name

Grammatical Categories: nom. sg. masc.
Stem Class: o, i̯o

Morphemic Analysis: pli(-i̯)-os
Phonemic Analysis: /bli()os/ or /plī()os/
Meaning: 'Plios'


o- or i̯o-stem personal name in the nominative; also attested in the genitive plioiso. The base pli- is etymologically unclear and may have anlauting /b/ or /p/, long or short /i/. Lejeune 1971: 59, n. 169 suggests a connection with *bʰlei̯- 'shine' (see the morpheme page), but the only useful epigraphic comparadum pliamnus (CIL V 5001) at Riva del Garda (cf. Gambari & Colonna 1988: 135; now read pliammus according to Markey & Mees 2003: 146) indicates anlauting /p/. Tibiletti Bruno 1969: 1011–1013 suggests a connection with the Latin nomen plīnius – this is indeed likely considering that plīnius is also isolated in Latin onomastics, and the Plīniī come from Novum Comum; see in detail Markey & Mees 2003: 141, 146–149 (who consider the pli-names to be of Etruscan origin; Gambari & Colonna 1988: 135, n. 71, also consider a connection with the archaic Northern Etruscan nomen plenianaś). It is not clear, though, how plīnius would relate to plios morphologically, as plīnius looks like it is formed from a base plīn- whose n is not in evidence in the epichoric documents. Neither Celtic nor Latin feature an adjectival/patronymic suffix with n – the (possibly) neighbouring Raetic does (see TIR), but Raetic nu/na-patronyms are transferred into Latin nomina as n-stems (see Salomon 2020: 403 f.).

David Stifter, Corinna Salomon


CIL Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. (17 volumes, various supplements)
Gambari & Colonna 1988 Filippo Maria Gambari, Giovanni Colonna, "Il bicchiere con iscrizione arcaica da Castelletto Ticino e l'adozione della scrittura nell'Italia nord-occidentale", Studi Etruschi 54 (1986 [1988]), 119–164.