[tied] Re: Pliny's "Guthalus"

From: tgpedersen
Message: 15940
Date: 2002-10-05

--- In cybalist@..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
> Names of major rivers are often etymologically equivalent to "the
River", "the Water", "the Stream", etc. Simple epithets
like "Mighty", "Running", "Winding", "White" or "Black" are also
popular. This monotony is precisely the reason why patterns like "Old
European hydronymy" are so homogeneous despite their wide
geographical range. Microhydronymy is a different thing. Even the
locals need to distinguish a number of brooks and rivulets. I know of
a few interesting cases when an incredibly old name for a mere brook
survives locally despite being unknown to official cartography. Near
the place where I lived as a child there is a rather inconsopicuous
stream known as the Mrówka to everybody who is familiar with it (the
name means 'ant' in Polish). On all maps that are sufficiently
detailed to show it, the name is Zimna Woda 'Cold Water', unknown
locally. It was only when I became interested in etymology that I
discovered that Mrówka was a folk-etymological distortion of Nrówka
(initial <nr-> does not occur in any modern Polish morpheme): it
flows into a larger river once called the Nrowa (now Utrata, of
purely Polish origin) < *norwa, an ancient name without a Slavic
etymology (but with Baltic connections).
> Piotr

Are you thinking of the Narva river? It has Germanic connections
also, Danish /nor/ "inlet, lagoon". Any connection with the Neuri
(talking of river peoples)?