Attested: Albion or Αλβιων mentioned by many classical authors
Name Origin: PIE *albho- ‘white’, most likely referring to the white cliffs of Dover. The name may have been transferred from Iberia, where a tribe of Albiones in the north-west was mentioned by Pliny.
Notes: Across European languages a diverse range of specific objects appear to have been named from their whiteness: the Alps, dawn, elves, church vestments, swans, and skin lesions. The argument that Albion originated as a Celtic word for the ‘upper world’ is spelled out on pp37-38 of Delamarre (2003), who thought that derivation from white cliffs was “improbable”, that personal names in Alb- were based on religious ideas rather than personal appearance, and that Welsh elfydd ‘world’, with medieval precursors spelled eluit, is a valuable parallel. Not convincing.
You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source as www.romaneranames.uk, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last edited 22 September 2022 To main Menu