Alabum

Attested:  RC  Alabum

Where:  Probably Brecon Gaer fort, where the river Ysgir enters the Usk.

Name origin:  Initial *al- is common in early river names, notably Alauna, with no certain translation.  One possibility is ‘nourishing’, but ‘fish’ may be better because of words like eel, possibly related to PIE *albho- ‘white’. If the second element was just like PIE *ap- ‘water’, that would make Alabum ‘fish water’.

Notes:  Occupants of riverside houses there can watch salmon and trout swimming towards their premier spawning grounds in southern Britain.  Various Welsh possibilities were floated by R&C and by Breeze (2002), and R&S offered a weak guess of Llandovery for its location.

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Last Edited: 25 April 2016