Recently I came across a short but fussy drizzling article(Keltisch
en Oergermaans in Vlaanderen by J. Devleeschouwer) with outlets of
etymological explanations about the earliest to reconstruct
linguistical situation in Flanders and Wallonia by parsing the oldest
hydronyms("Flussnamen") in the Maas and Schelde bassins.
In the succession of naming the affluents and tributary rivers of the
Maas stream it showed that they(the Waremme, Lomme and Lesse) all are
repeating the same designation of the stream.Waremme and Lesse would
signify "krommende,kronkelende"("the-one-which-
curves/bends/meanders), originating from "uimena" from the
Indogermanic root *uie, which means twisting around or bending.A same
explanation is followed for the Lesse, which goes back to the celtic
*litia, "the-bend-one".So most rivers are trackable from a common
Idg. form or specific Celtic word.
It occurs however that always a "herhaalde vertaling"(repeated
translation) of the original name of the stream Maas(Lat. Mosa, Old
high German Masa) is perserved, "the wormed-one", which can not be
given a Idg. origin, while it is of pre-celtic origin too.
The author notices the "Alpine" element in the walloon population
back in the neolithic and their supposed affliation with the Uralic
speaking Lapps and reflects an Uralic tongue spoken in Belgium,
preceding the indogermanisation of our regions.
The Maas is compared to the South Lapponic dialect of Norse Wefsen
and one finds then "massa-" or *mossarit, in both cases meaning
rolling, winding or tosing.A transition to the Celtic arranged for
*Mosa and all other translations were just variancy comforting the
Celtic vocals by an indigenous population who tried to rethink their
grammar to suit their adaptation in the new reign.
The bassin in the Schelde area is a different matter, although the
same inclination to follow the namesake of the stream is manifest.The
Nete, Kempisch("Toxandrian")affluent of the Rupel, which itselves
constitutes a shortand broad river discharging in the Schelde, was
called *Hnita, Westgermanic and also maintained in Old Low Frankish
word meaning "she-who-pushes" and in Dutch devolved in "nijten", a
verb used to say butting with horns("met de horens stoten").
Schelde derives from Skalda, similar to *Skalde("she-who-thrusts")
and the Saxon verb *Skaldan(to push), but its origin remains free of
Uralic elements, with the sole exception of the river Sensée
Cambrai and Valenciennes in France.The Idg. root *sate could
originate from the uralic word of flood, *sace(Lapponic: cacce =
water; Eastjakkonic: flood in the late Summer or Autumn); the
remainder of rivernames are defined by
their "Urgermanisch"appellation:Honte(=Xunton= "the huntress"),Laan
(=Xlan(th)non="she-who-robs"),, Nieppe(=Xneupon="she-who-wins-by fits
and starts"),etc.