From: Old-Irish-L <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Candon McLean
> Well, as a purely speculative idea, how about a derivation from *bhērH-o- 'brown' or *ghuer- 'wild animal' plus *-to / -tā to lexicalize the adj. / noun. Of course to get beithir there would have to be metathesis of -r- and -t- to get the desired outcome.
In all likelihood, *g ̑ʰu ̯er- would have resulted in PC *g ʷer-, which would have given g- in Irish. -to- does not function as a normal adjectival suffix, it rather creates verbal adjectives. And the suggested metathesis would be highly extraordinary,