AttestedVoreda on iter 2 of the Antonine Itinerary;  Bereda at position 128 in the Ravenna Cosmography ;  inscription V#R#D

Where:  Roman fort at Old Penrith, at NY493384, beside the river Petterill.  A posting station on the Roman road (Margary's 7e, now the A6) through Cumbria towards Carlisle.

Name origin:  Latin veredus ‘courier's horse’.  The –red- part is from PIE *reidh- ‘to ride’.  Initial Ver-/Vor- is a prefix that was very productive in Germanic languages, as ver- in Dutch or for- in English, often with a sense of ‘away’, from PIE *per- ‘to bear, to carry’.  So *voreda meant something like ‘away-rider’.  The English word palfrey developed from Latin paraveredus.

Notes:  This analysis outranks the common claim that PIE *upo- ‘under’ suffered Celtic-style loss of P, to yield *uo-, and then Gaulish *voredos was loaned into Latin and also developed into Welsh gorwydd ‘horse’.  That might make *voreda an ‘under-rider’ except that in Welsh the prefix gor- generally means ‘upper’ or ‘superior’. In fact, most Indo-European languages have very similar prefixes that mean ‘over’ or ‘under’, such as the Greek-derived hyper- and hypo- in English.

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Last edited 8 February 2022     to main Menu