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This is what Weiss 2020 writes on cognomina in -a (in III. *eh2-stem suffixes): Aemilius Alba, from albus 'white' Calua, from caluus 'bald' C. Mucius Scaeuola, from scaeua 'left-handed person' Weiss also mentions Klingenschmitt 1992 - I'm going to re-read this and add more later - who explains these cognomina as collectives with the meaning 'family of X' ...

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