Vandalic name for Goths
After a long period of silence I would like to relate what I have found in a
very interesting Polish book entitled "Najstarsza warstwa nazewnicza na
ziemiach polskich" ('The Oldest Onomastic Layer In The Territory of Poland')
by Zbigniew Babik, Cracow 2001.
The author points out a big group of place-names (including river- and
lake-names) belonging to the so called Layer I (or pre-Slavic, before
5th/6th c.) and among them a group of Germanic names (I will write about
them in the next message). One of them is _Trlag_ (_a_ being here nasal _o_:
something like 'trlong') - a lake in Polish region Kujawy (Cuiavia) and a
nearby village. Babik (after Vasmer's "Germanen und Slaven in Ostdeutschland
in alter Zeit", 1933) reconstructs it as Germanic _*Tru(l)ling-_
'Troll-lake_. Though Vasmer refered it to the Scandinavian/Viking influence
of early Middle Ages, Babik cannot agree with this interpretation. According
to him the Viking settlement in early Middle Ages in the area of Trlag is
much more improbable than Gothic settlement in the late antiquity (as
described in Jordanes' "Gethica").
The Scandinavian name _troll_ can be reconstructed in Germanic as _*trula-_
or _*trulla-_ (see Torp's "Der Wortschatz der Germanischen Spracheinheit",
Goettingen 1909). A very interesting citation from Babik's book is:
"Vasmer (in "Ein vandalischer Name der Goten", Studia Neophilologica XV,
Uppsala 1942) writes also about the name given by the Vandals to the Goths
settled in Spain (Greek _trouloun_), which he interprets as contemptuous
surname 'trolls'" (Babik 2001, p. 282).
What do you think about all this? If this interpretation of place-name
_Trlag_, the Germanic _*trul(l)a-_ and Greek _trouloun_ is right we know a
little more about the mythology of Goths and Vandals (they believed in
trolls) and we can add a new word to the limited Vandalic glossary.
P.S. Another troll-name in today Poland is _Trloga_ (river and village near
Przasnysz in north-east Poland) which is reconstructed by Babik as
_*Tru(l)lag-_ '[river, marsh] of the troll(s)' (_*-ag-_ is a relational
element in Germanic).
maggot@... or galadhorn@...
"Polish Tolkien Society" http://www.parmadili.w.pl
"Silesian Homeland" http://necik.mag.com.pl/~galadhorn/slask/index.htm
"Sindarin Dictionary": http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/gobeth.htm