This paper examines Eilert Ekwall’s English river-names (1928) in the light of pan-continental ‘Old European’ river-naming patterns investigated by Hans Krahe and his followers. Significantly many Celtic-looking names are shown to represent reshapings of older names not specifically Celtic with meanings more frequently to do with water or flowing than Ekwall thought. The Indo-Europeanness of alteuropäisch river-names is upheld emphatically, with a critique of Vennemann’s (1994) contrary arguments. Its Common (not just western) Indo-European origin is emphasized, yielding rational explanations for such features as the frequency of the vowel a. The kind of reshaping already demonstrated for insular Celtic is seen to have been recurrent in the history of alteuropäisch river-names generally, with developments in particular groups conditioned by their wider linguistic development, e.g. loss of the -nt- participle in Celtic.