When I learnt that the Breton word for television is skinwel, I wondered where it came from. Today I think I’ve found the answer (via TermOfis) – skin means ray, and appears in words such as:
- skinek = radiant
- skinad = radiation
- skinañ = to radiate, shine, beam
- skinforn = microwave oven (“ray oven”)
- skin an Heol = sunbeam (“ray of the sun”)
- skingomz = radio (“ray talk”)
- skingaser = transmitter (“ray messenger”)
- skindommerez = radiator (“ray heater”)
- skinlun = x-ray (“ray picture”)
The wel part comes from gwel (view, sight, vision), I think, and appears in such words as:
- gwelus = visible
- gwelet = to see, look
I find it interesting when new words like this are invented for modern inventions, rather than just borrowing international terms like television, telephone and radio. Other examples in Breton include pellgomz = telephone (“far talk”) and urzhiataer = computer (“order-er”). Such words may not be used in everyday speech, but I think it’s nice to know that they exist.
Can you think of examples in other languages?