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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'free'
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /ri/-
From PIE: *priH-o- 'own, familiar, dear'
From Proto-Celtic: *rii̯o- 'free'
Attestation: rio, riol, riop


An element rio- appears in Continental Celtic personal name like riocenus, riouassus, riouercus, riochatus, riomarus, riomonus, riotalos (AcS II: 1191 f., KGP: 259, GPN: 465, n. 9, Delamarre 2007: 230 et passim). Some of these may be formed with rīg- 'ruler' with weakened/dropped /g/ (e.g. Dottin 1920: 65), but this base is less common as first than as second element. At least part of the names may contain rii̯o- 'free' as attested lexically in MW rhydd, OBret. rid 'free' etc. (KGP: 259, DLG: 258 f., Ködderitzsch 1986: 195–200 on RIIG GAR-04-01 (RIG G-183) ρ[ι?]ου|μαν[ι]|ος). See NIL: 568–573, n. 15 and 16 with literature on the Celtic semantics.

Corinna Salomon


AcS Alfred Holder, Alt-Celtischer Sprachschatz, Leipzig: Teubner 1896-1907. (3 volumes)
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.
Dottin 1920 Georges Dottin, La langue gauloise. grammaire, textes et glossaire [= Collection pour l’étude des antiquités nationales 2], Paris: Klincksieck 1920.
GPN David Ellis Evans, Gaulish Personal Names. A Study of Continental Celtic Formations., Oxford: Clarendon Press 1967.