On 2006-04-20 11:15, Piotr Gasiorowski wrote:
>> You said something about the semantic field of *bhrem- :
> Without claiming any connection with <Bremen>.
I should add that the name of the city doesn't have to have anything do
with the 'edge' word. Its early versions point to <Breme> as the
original form, most likely a plural (cf. Latinised Bremae, abl. de
Bremis), and the modern version continues the dat.pl. used in locative
phrases (van Bremen = de Bremis). Whatever the underlying appellative,
it's likely to have been something that naturally occurs as a plural, so
the best fit is perhaps not 'edge' but 'bramble-bush' or 'thorn-bush'
(*bre:m-(j)o:- beside variants with a shortened root vowel, cf. OHG
bra:ma, brema, MLG breme, OE bro:m, bre:mel). Pokorny lumps the two
etyma together (with the semantics of 'stick out'), but I see little
reason to do so, given the different vocalism. There may be a distant
connection with the OE 'briar' word (WS bræ:r, Angl. bre:r).