Detalle Publicación

Welsh Dawn 'Gift' and Doncaster, Yorkshire

Título de la revista: VOPROSY ONOMASTIKI
ISSN: 1994-2400
Volumen: 15
Número: 3
Páginas: 202 - 211
Fecha de publicación: 2018
Doncaster, known to the Romans as Danum, is a town on the River Don, Yorkshire. Its British-Latin name (deriving from that of the river) has been obscure: although interpretations 'wet' or 'bold' or 'flowing' have been proposed from alleged parallels with the Danube, Dnieper, Don, or Rhone of the European continent, they are inconclusive, because they lack equivalents in Brittonic. A new etymology is needed. The one suggested here is 'gift; gifted one' or even 'she who brings gifts' (designating a river nymph). It is supported directly by the Welsh word dawn 'gift' and indirectly by the River Annan of Scotland, recorded in British-Latin as Anava, a form related to Welsh anau, 'wealth, riches, largess, bounty, gift' and presumably reflecting Celtic belief in the stream as a bountiful goddess. The Yorkshire Don (like the River Don of Tyneside) would thus have a name explicable in purely Celtic terms. Reference to lndoIranian, legitimately applied to continental rivers including the Russian Don and Dnieper, can here be dropped. Besides this, Doncaster can be proved as unrelated both to the "Cair Dann" of Ilistoria Brittonum's Twenty-Eight Cities of Britain (where the toponym is surely a corniption of Cali-Dam or Cardiff), and to the goddess Don of the twelfth-century Four Branches of the Mabinogi. On the other hand, the Yorkshire Don can be shown as a namesake not only of the River Don of Tyneside, but of the River Doon in south-west Scotland