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Subject: Re: Bibiella.
Author: Rusty Shackleford   (Authenticated as arrowhead909)
Date: October 15, 2017 at 7:43:15 PM
Reply to: Bibiella. by mairinn

This website says it's from biba, which it says means either "drink" or "cradle," but these aren't Polish words so I'm not sure what language he's talking about. He connects them to the Latin "bibere" (to drink). "Bibī" is Latin for "I drink." "Bibere" has no descendants in Polish or any other Slavic language and its only descendants that begin with "bi-" instead of "be-" are Sicilian and Sardinian. The Polish equivalent is "pić," from the Proto-Slavic "piti" or *pìti, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European prefix *peh- (to drink). *Peh- is also the Proto-Indo-European root of "bibere," so the Italic and Slavic words split off from each other in prehistoric times, long before there were modern surnames. There's no way that Bibiel(l)a comes from "bibere" unless it wasn't originally Polish.

Bibiel(l)a is found in Germany, but surname density maps show that it's extremely rare and scattered all over the place. In Poland, where it's also rare, it's exclusively found in the Katowice area, which is where the town Bibiela is. Either the surname comes from the town or the town comes from the surname. The town had only 2 residents left in 2016 because the local well was dry. There's an 1890 hunting lodge of the same name not too far away in Miasteczka Śląskiego. Bibiella appears to be a variant spelling for this place. The town is also called Bibieli.

I've found that -la and -ła are diminutive suffixes in Vilamovian/Wymysorys, a Germanic language spoken by a few people in the area that comes from Middle High German. So maybe we should be looking at Vilamovian or Middle High German instead of Polish? Then again, it could be related to the Polish "biały" or "biel" (white) or the Old Polish "biel" (swamp)? Lesser Polish and Silesian are also spoken in the area.

Ultimately, I don't know what it means, but it's probably from a local language or dialect. This is just some food for thought.

Rusty Shackleford is my real identity. My name is not Katie.

This message was edited by the author on October 15, 2017 at 7:47:11 PM

Messages in this thread:
  • Bibiella. - mairinn  May 16 2017, 4:38:06 AM
    • Re: Bibiella. - Rusty Shackleford  Oct 15 2017, 7:43:15 PM
    • Re: Bibiella. - Lepic  May 16 2017, 8:23:34 AM