The name of the Austrian town Rottenmann, in such entries as, from 927, 'ad Rotenmannum', and from 1048 'Rotenmannun, sclavonice etiam Cirminah', possesses rare but valuable attestation, its semantic equivalent: Slavic 'Cirminah' is semantically identical with 'Rotenmannun', 'among the red people/men'. In literature on the subject the motivation of this oikonym has usually been treated as unclear. The attempts to explain it (among other proposals) include the suggestion that 'Rottenmann' is a terrain name from IE. *rod-, 'flow' and mano, 'mud'. This seems impossible to us, however. Firstly, one would have to assume very early paretymological transformation of the name in Old High German, which in addition would have received the locative plural form. Secondly, one would have to assume that the Slavic name 'Cirminah' is a later translation of it. Thirdly, one would have to acknowledge an analogous phenomenon of folk etymology in four other names of similar structure: a second name 'Rottenmann' in Austria, 'Rodemann' (852 'Rottenmannun') in Hessen, 'Rottmann' (circa 1075 'Rotenmannun') in Upper Bavaria, and 'Rottmann' (1165 'Rotenmanne') in Lower Bavaria. In our opinion the onymic motive of all the names of these localities should be connected with one or more persons with red (ginger) hair or other specific physical traits.
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