Words for good in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *matis = good
Old Irish (Goídelc) maith [maθʲ] = good
Irish (Gaeilge) maith [mˠa(h) / mˠaɪ(h)] = good; goodness, kindness; good things; fertility
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) math [ma] = good, well
Manx (Gaelg) mie [maɪ] = good, nice, moral, fair, pious, ready, goodness, favourable, virtuous, virtue, goodly
Proto-Brythonic *mad = good
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) mad [maːd] = good
Welsh (Cymraeg) mad [maːd] = good, lucky, fortunate, suitable, auspicious, beneficial, virtuous, holy, fair, pleasant, beautiful
Cornish (Kernewek) mas [ma:z / mæ:z] = good, respectable, moral
Middle Breton mat = good
Breton (Brezhoneg) mat / mad [maːd] = good, good product, moral, well (done), sweet

From Proto-Indo-European *meh₂tis (ripe, good), from *meh₂- (to ripen, to mature) [source].

Note: mad is not commonly used in modern Welsh. The usual word for good is da.

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary,, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

One thought on “Good

  1. One context (admittedly, poetic) in which “mad” is commonly heard in modern Welsh is in the third line of the national anthem:

    gwladgarwyr tra mad : splendid (lit. “very good”) patriots

    I wonder, though, how many people (like me) learned to sing these words long before they were altogether sure what they meant! 🙂
    The word “tra” (extremely, exceedingly = very) is another one seldom found outside such “frozen phrases” as “tra charedig” (most kind).

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