Thank you for this Torsten!
--- tgpedersen <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
> As a description "hals" is OK. Houken: "H�ndbog i
> danske stednavne"
> lists 16 place names using "hals" in Denmark alone.
> (..."used in
> placenames of places which can be compared to a
> neck, eg narrow
> straits connecting wider land or water areas",

*****GK: Exactly the situation at the Oder

> As for /�lv/ in /G�ta �lv/, the Swedish word for
> domestic river, it
> is cognate with the river name Lat. Albis "Elbe
> river". That doesn't
> look much like /-alus/. Or perhaps he heard /-alws/?

******GK: The old "Gota alv" hypothesis for Guthalus
(first suggested in 1616) is no longer considered
tenable (see RdGA, XIII (1999) p. 229. It's "Gut" and
"hals" as the Germanic components. What is "Gut"?
Piotr doubts "good" though Steve thinks it possible.
There is also the "outpour" or "outflow" meaning and
if that is it then Guthalus would be "the outflow's
neck" which is descriptive of some kilometers of the
Oder between the sea and the small body of water
(inlet) between the actual inner coast and the Baltic.
Cf. any map. Some have also thought of an "ethnic"
hydronym relating to the Goths, but this may be " folk
etymology". It might however explain why Pliny mixed
up the direction in his listing. Perhaps he thought
the Guthalus needed to be placed first since the Goths
were the easternmost "Vandili".*****

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