Word of the day – billey

billey (BILL-ya) = tree, plural = biljyn (BILL-jin)

Examples of usage:
Vel biljyn sy gharey? (Are there trees in the garden?)
Ta. Tree biljyn mooarey as un villey beg (Yes. Three big trees and a small tree)

This word came up in today’s Manx lesson. While many Manx words are the same as or similiar to words in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, this particular word caught my eye because it’s completely different. In Irish the word for tree is crann (pl. crainn), while in Scottish Gaelic it’s craobh (pl. craoibhe) or crann . The Welsh words for tree are coeden (pl. coed) and prenn (pl. prennau) – also means wood/timber.

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This entry was posted in Language, Manx, Words and phrases.

2 Responses to Word of the day – billey

  1. TJ says:

    Maybe the difference in the words is related to the differene in the druidism related to each part of the celtic world?

  2. gearóid ó fathaigh says:

    A chara,
    tá an focal ‘bile’ le fáil i nGaeilge na hÉireann – is cognate le ‘billey’ é, ach is crann ar leith é leis an sainmhíniú ‘(large, sacred) tree’ a d’úsáidtí mar shampla le ríthe a insealbhú, nós a thagann aníos ó aimsir na ndraoithe is dócha!

    the word ‘bile’ is the Irish Gaelic cognate – but in Ireland it is a literary word which refers to a ‘large, sacred tree’, which, for example, was used for coronation ceremonies, something which probably came down from druid times!

    It’s also to be seen in a literary word for the ‘beech-tree’ – fáibhile – which I think was originally fáidhbhile, a compound of bile and fáidh ‘seer, prophet, wise man, sage’!! more intrigue