Encyclopédie Marikavel-Jean-Claude-EVEN/Encyclopaedia/Enciclopedia/Enzyklopädie/egkuklopaideia

d'ar gêr ! ***** à la maison ! ***** back home !

Noms de lieux

Noms de personnes



page ouverte le 21.06.2007       forum de discussion

* forum du site Marikavel : Academia Celtica

dernière mise à jour 02/06/2012 17:35:03

Définition : ville d'Angleterre; comté de Yorkshire.


Extrait de la carte Ordnance Survey : Map of Roman Britain.





* Rivet & Smith, p. 331-332


- AI 4663 (Iter I) : DELGOVICIA, var. DELGOVITIA 

- Ravenna 10716 (= R&C 139) : DEVOVICIA, var. DEVOVITIA

DERIVATION. AI's form gives a sound basis; Ravenna's is slightly corrupt. The first element is apparently Celtic *delgos 'thorn' (Old Welsh dala, dal, Old Irish delg). This seems not to enter into any other place-names in ancient sources, but Williams notes that it is common in Scottish names, e.g. Dealginross. It is hard to see any relationship with delgu in Gaulish, ' I hold, contain ' in a graffito on a vessel from Banassac (Lozère, France), discussed by Vendryes in EC, VII (1956), 9-17; the sense is remote, and comparable -vices names make us expect as first element a noun, not a verb. The sense and function of the first element of the British name cannot be determined in isolation. Jackson in Britannia, I (1970), 72, thinks it possible that -vic- corresponded to the British source of Welsh -wig 'wood ' used as a suffix, as in coedwig 'forest', and this was the solution doubtfully favoured by Williams (' thorn-brake ' for the complete name); but Jackson points out that *delgos meant a single thorn, not a bush, so that while Williams's sense is attractive, it is not justified. There is then a possibility of a Celtic *uico- cognate with, or borrowed from, Latin vicus 'town, village, settlement' (Irish fich glossed 'municipium'), but Jackson and Ellis Evans GPN 281-85 do not think there is good evidence for this; so a meaning 'thorn-town', though possible, is unlikely. (On Latin vicus possibly widely used in Roman Britain and borrowed there into Anglo-Saxon, see M. Gelling in Medieval Archaeology, XI (1967), 87-104, especially p. 95). Moreover all the British names with -vic- have an ending -ia or -ium, which does not suggest Latin vicus-vicum (and a British suffix *-io- attached to a Latin vicus seems unlikely too). The explanation favoured by Jackson and documented in part by Ellis Evans is that the town name is formed with the *-io- suffix from an ethnicon *Delgouices 'spear-fighters', with *delgo- thus in a figurative sense and *uic- meaning 'fight' (a cognate of Latin vinco). This is amply supported by analogues among ethnic names. In Britain were the Ordovices 'hammer-warriors' (Welsh gordd) and Gabrantovices 'horse-riding fighters, cavalrymen ' ; on the Continent the Eburovices 'yew-tree fighters' ('bowmen' ?), Brannovices 'raven fighters', etc. (The last two may contain personal names *Eburos, *Brannos, however; or refer to some emblem rather than literally to a weapon. This might also apply to the *Delgovices.) There are two further British place-names which are presumably to be explained in the same way : Longovicium 'place of the *Longovices' (' ship-fighters ' ?) and Vercovicium 'place of the *Vercovices' ('effective fighters' ?). A further suggestion made by Pisani in Archivio Glottologico Italiano, t (1965), 6-7, is interesting. He suggests that Visi- in the name of the Visigoths is a Balto-Slavic or Slavic term corresponding to Celtic *uic- or *ueic- in ethnic names, also to Sanskrit viç- 'tribe', Old Russian visi 'village'; hence Visi- in Visigoth might be simply 'le tribu (assoluto)', or an abbreviation of a compound name analogous to the Celtic names in -vices. There may be some signifieance in the British -vicia / vicium variation, although our Longovicium records seem to show both as simple alternatives. Whether, without further evidence, we should extend the number of British ethnic names, is doubtful; those mentioned presumably belong to small divisions within larger units.

IDENTIFICATION. Probably the Roman settlement at Wetwang, Yorkshire (SE 9258).






* Eilert EKWALL : Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names.

* ALF RIVET & Colin SMITH : Place-names of Roman Britain. Bastsford Ltd. London. 1979-1982.

* A.D MILLS : Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. 1991-2003

- envoi de : 

Liens électroniques des sites Internet traitant de Wetwang / Delgovicia  

* lien communal : 

* Autres liens : 


* forum du site Marikavel : Academia Celtica

hast buan, ma mignonig vas vite, mon petit ami

go fast, my little friend

Retour en tête de page