Verolamium

Attested:  AI iter 2 Verolamio, iter 6 Verolami, iter 8 Verolamo;  RC Virolanium
   Ptolemy 2,3,21 Ουρολανιον, a πολις of the Κατουλλαυνοι;  Tacitus Verulamio
   Coins VER, VERL, VERO, VERLAMIO, VIR

Where:  St Albans Roman town around TL134073

Name origin:  PIE *per- ‘to lead, pass over’ (the origin of modern fare), plus PIE *lama- ‘swamp, puddle’ (hence Latin lama).  Ver- meaning ‘causeway’ and –lamium meaning the river now called Ver, in its sprawling pre-modern state, are a perfect fit to the artist’s impression of the pre-Roman place offered by St Albans museum.  Notice how little basis there is for a letter U in the middle of the name.

Notes:  Coates (2005) took an 8-page look at this name, spelled out how difficult it is to explain in Celtic, ignored the OE parallels fær ‘journey’ and lam ‘mud, loam’, and bizarrely ended up invoking a personal name meaning ‘crooked hand’.

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Last Edited: 4 October 2016