Gut + hals? Impossible, since 'good' was <go:d-> in Gothic. It became <gut> in High German, many centuries later. The 'neck' word was <hals> already in Gothic (< *xalsaz), and there was never a vowel between the /l/ and the /s/. I can only offer some tentative guesses: Pliny's <guthalus> could be related to ME gothelan < OE *goþelian '(of water) make a low noise', which might derive from hypothetical *guþla- 'noise (?), bubbling (?)'. Remember that this is merely a bold conjecture.
----- Original Message -----
From: gknysh
Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 9:35 PM
Subject: [tied] Pliny's "Guthalus"

The GUTHALUS is mentioned by Pliny in his Historia Naturalis (IV,100)
as a river flowing into the Baltic. It has sometimes been identified
as the Oder. Some suggest that the "GUT" refers to the Goths. I'm
wondering if an alternative etymology might be possible, viz., where
GUTHALUS might mean something like "good (sea)neck" in Old Germanic.
What do you think Piotr?