From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7488
Date: 2001-06-07

Glen and all,
What about the following etymology of <basileus>?
Greek names in -la:(w)os < *lah2wos 'men (esp. under arms)' were often truncated to <-leus> or even <-los>. There are several attested names of the "bahuvrihi" type *X(-i)-la:wos with the etymological meaning "he whose lâos has X", e.g. (apparently) Akhil(l)eus < *akhi-la:wos 'he who makes the lâos grieve' (literally "grief-lâos") or Kharillos < *khari-la:wos 'who makes the lâos rejoice' ("delight-lâos"). What if <basileus> is simply a truncated variant of *gWasi-la:wos (*gWasi- < *gWmti- 'motion, step, progress' = <basis>) 'he who has the lâos going/marching', i.e. 'the man in charge, commander'? Truncation, as in the case of personal names, is explicable as due to frequent use, perhaps as a term of respectful address, something like "boss", or "guv'nor".