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Geologija  2010 

What is the origin of the word Leibach?

Keywords: Leibach , Linguistics , Ljubljana , Bronze Age

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The capital of Slovenia Ljubljana (Roman colony Aemona Julia, Laybacum, Laibacensis, Labacensis Lungan,Leibach, Luwigana/Lubigana, and Lublana) was known under several names during its long history. In Germanversion of the guide-book of Ljubljana the German name Leibach is mentioned. The name occus from 1122 to 1125in historic documents of the town.The first settlers from German lands come to the southern region of the Karawanken Mountains during theMerowingian/Karolingian times (450 to 900 of our counting). They arrived possibly from the West-falian respectivelyRheinlandian language area, or eventually from the Saxonian Ore Mountains.The German expression Leibach consists of two elements, namely of the words Lei“ and Bach“= brook (=inSlovenian: potok). The first word could originate from the term Lei“, used in Rheinland and derived according tonewer understanding from the Celtic word Ley“. The meaning of the Lower German word Lei“ was transferredby the GRIMM brothers in 19th century into the High German. Accordingly, this old Rhenan dialectal term means inHigh German Schiefer, (schist), Stein, (stone) and Fels (rock). The word-to-word translation of the German wordLeibach in the Slovenian language means simply skrilavec ob potoku”, “shale at the brook”.By the Rhenan word Lei“ here only a locality with exposed rocks, Gesteinen (schist, stone and rock = Lei), alongthe course of a smaller or larger Bach – creek or brook – (Leibach) has been localized und described. In this sense theterm Leibach corresponds exactly to the general idea of the old Rhenan word Lei“. It could have been possible thatthe first immigrants to this area originated in the Halle community in Westfalia, and that they gave the ancient settlementof Lubigana the German name Leibach owing to outcrops of the rocks similar to those in their old country.


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