Word of the day – gliniadur

Gliniadur / laptop computer

Gliniadur is a Welsh word for laptop computer. It combines (pen-)glin, knee, with iadur from cyfrifiadur, computer, and could be translated as “kneeputer”. It is similar to the Irish for laptop, ríomhaire glúine (knee computer).

Other Welsh words for laptop include cyfrifiadur côl (lap computer), sgrin-ar-lin (screen on the knees) and cyfrifiadur cludadwy (portable computer).

The suffix adur denotes a tool or thing and also appears in geiriadur (dictionary, “word tool”), gwniadur (thimble, “sewing tool”), teipiadur (typewriter, “type tool”), and termiadur (a dictionary of terminology).

This word came up last night at the French conversation group when we were discussing how to say laptop in French (ordinateur portable) – are there any other words for laptop in French?

Do any other languages have interesting words for laptop?

This entry was posted in Etymology, Irish, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases.

12 Responses to Word of the day – gliniadur

  1. TJ says:

    In Ayvarith I created a prefix for “tool” (that would be “qad”)and I didn’t know such thing does exist in other languages in fact. Not like the Welsh way.
    The “computer” in Ayvarith, I called it “Mihsháv” from the stem “hashav” (to calculate).
    I think A laptop, I might call it “Burk-Mihsháv” (burkáthá: knee + Mihsháv: computer).

    In Arabic (standard, in which no adaptation of english words would be used), A laptop is called “carried computer” or “mobile computer” in some sense.

  2. Daniel says:

    In Hebrew a computer is “מחשב” (“mahshev”, from the root “חשב”, to calculate).
    A laptop is, like in Arabic, “מחשב נישא” (carried computer) or “מחשב נייד” (mobile computer). But sometimes we just say “לפטופ” (“laptop”).

  3. Christopher Miller says:

    For some reason when I read the word, my brain insists on crossing ‘clean’ and the Welsh equivalent ‘glân’ and I keep thinking the word should mean ‘cleaner’!

    Never trust yer neurons…

  4. Juan Shimmin says:

    Manx is “glioonag”, with “glioon” being “knee” and “-ag”… it’s a general suffix that marks something as a derived noun, is the best I can say. It’s a bit like saying “kneelet” or something. It also means a blow with the knee, as in a fight.
    There’s no official term for “palmtop” that I know of, but it would probably be “bassag”, which is the same but for the palm of the hand.
    Why there aren’t any Manx slapstick shows I’ll never know.

  5. Inbecilica says:

    Well it seems strange to me why we’d use “laptop/notebook” computer over “portable/mobile” computer. Anyway in Vietnamese it’s [a portable (hand-taken) machine that does minute calculations]. However, I like the Mandarin Chinese name for it much more: 筆記型電腦(笔记型电脑) meaning [a notebook electric brain]

  6. Roy says:

    Another Hebrew word for laptop is mahshev birkayim (computer (of) knees).

  7. Dennis King says:

    Is Welsh -adur cognate with Irish -adóir? The latter means a person usually, and only sometimes a thing, that works with something:

    cloch (stone) > clochadóir = stone-worker
    crann (tree) > crannadóir = arboriculturist; tree-climber
    uair (hour) > uaireadóir = watch

    Ba cheart domsa an taighde seo a dhéanamh, ach tá mé leisciúil!

  8. Simon says:

    Dennis – the suffix -adur denotes an agent or instrument, according to this book, and can be used for people, eg pechadur = sinner.

    It probably is related to the Irish -adóir, but I can’t find any references.

  9. lukas says:

    In French, usually people will just say le portable. This has always confused me, as this word can just as well mean “mobile phone”, and the context often doesn’t help in resolving the ambiguity.

  10. formiko says:

    They use notebook computer in advertisements, but everyone in reality uses “laptop”. Just like they say “toilet tissue” in advertisements, but everyone just says “toilet paper” 🙂

  11. Tommy says:

    In Japanese, “laptop” is just imported from English as ラップトップ (rappu-toppu). Etymologically not very interesting, other than the fact that loan-words get their own font/script in Japanese…

  12. Macsen says:

    ‘clin’ means lap or the bit of your leg from the knee up. Penglin is the knee itself (there’s a mutation for clin to glin)

    Another word in this family is the word for palm-top – cledriadur (cledr – palm).

    On the -iadur theme the online Welsh swearasaurus (is there such a word) is http://www.rhegiadur.com [rhegi – to swear]

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