Publication details

Baltic *auškléjas m. & *auškléjá f. "bleak"

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Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Baltistica
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Baltic; Slavic; Mari;ichthyonym; toponym; substratum; compound; etymology; gold
Description The present contribution is devoted to the Baltic designation of the fish ‘bleak / Alburnus alburnus’ in Lithuanian, Latvian, and Prussian toponymy, and in traces of Baltic substrata in North Russian dialects and in Mari from the upper Volga basin. On the basis of existing etymologies, a new solution is proposed, explaining the fish-name with help of one of characteristic features of this fish, golden slime on its scales. The new etymology demonstrates their common origin in the compound *aus- & *kle:yo/a:- *‘gold-slimed’ = ‘fish characterized by its golden slime’. This fish-name would further solidify the original Indo-European term for ‘gold’, directly preserved in the Baltic and Italic branches, in another apophonic formation also in Tocharian, but, until now, quite unattested in Slavic.
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