Göta älv is untenable because the modern name derives from older *gauta albiz, which doesn't really look like Guthalus at all. Gut-halus = *gut(a)-xalsaz 'outflow-neck', as you suggest, is perhaps a better idea, though I'm not happy about the <-halus> part, unless Pliny's form is a misspelling for Guthalsus. Ptolemy has Chalusus <kHalouso-> for what was probably the western channel of the Oder. Either another garbled form (for expected *<kHalso->), or p erhaps we are dealing with a derivative of *xaljan- 'conceal, protect'.


----- Original Message -----
From: "george knysh" <gknysh@...>
To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2002 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Pliny's "Guthalus"

> ******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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