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On Sa, 14.03.2009, 19:44, Dennis King wrote:
> What is the most up-to-date etymology of OI "labraithir / labrad"?  I
> see that MacBain suggests several alternatives.  Delamarre posits a
> Gaulish "labaro-, labro-  =  éloquent, bavard, sonore" and prefers the
> explanation that sees a cognate in Latin "labium, labrum = lip".

As its Insular Celtic preform, we have to set up *labar- (cp. Welsh
"llafar" "loud, talkative" or Breton "lavar" "speech, language". It is
possible that the Celtic and the Latin words are related, but I am rather
inclined to see something onomatopoetic in the Celtic term. Note that it
consists of the same sounds as "bla bla". Incidentally, in my home dialect
we have a verb "labern", which is a derogative term for "speaking" and
which is most certainly onomatopoetic and unrelated to any of the
above-cited words.

David