Re: Etymology of "Warsaw"

From: tgpedersen
Message: 33969
Date: 2004-09-03

--- In, Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...>
> On 9/1/04 8:38 PM, Sergejus Tarasovas wrote:
> > Interestingly, the traditional Lithuanian name for the city is
> > Várs^uva, which is percepted like a typical Baltic toponym made
> > the (collective etc.) suffix -(u)va ~ -ava (for the variance,
> > eg., the vacillation (Lith.) Daugavà ~ (Latv.) Daugava in the
name of
> > the same river) by a speaker of Lithuanian. Not that *wars'(u)
wa: ~
> > *wars'awa: would make a helluva good sense in Baltic, but we
still do
> > have OPuss. <warsus> 'lip' (probably continuing the same *wers-
> > 'upper, outstanding' as Slavic *vIrxU and Lith. virs^us/Latv.
> > vìrsus, but with the "right" o-grade), so can a West Baltic
> > substratal thing be completely excluded?
> It's a priori less likely than a straightforward Polish (or, to be
> precise, Mazovian) etymology. Warsaw is not a particularly ancient
> historically outstanding place, as Polish towns go: the capital of
> Poland was moved there from Kraków in the early 17th century; it
> the capital town of the dukedom of Mazovia about two centuries
> until that time it had been an inconspicuous little town that had
> gradually absorbed several older (and not necessarily less
> settlements -- all with purely Slavic names, such as Jazdów,
Kamion and
> Bródno. The name Warszowa goes back to the 13th century; the
modern form
> Warszawa is very young (17th c.)

PIE *wer-s- "rain" ?