Words for bad and related things in Celtic languages.


Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *drukos = bad
Gaulish druco- = bad
Old Irish (Goídelc) droch [drox] = bad, ill
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) droch = bad
Irish (Gaeilge) droch [drɔx] = bad, poor, evil, ill, un-
drochbhéas = vice, bad habit
drochmheas = contempt
drochobair = bad work, mischief
drochrath = ill luck, misfortune
drochrud = bad thing, inferior thing, bad/evil person, devil
drochrún = evil intention
drochuair = evil hour, unfortunate occasion
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) droch [drɔx] = bad, evil, wicked, mischievous, sad, calamitous, dark, obscure, secretive
droch-aigne = ill-will
droch-allaidh = libel
droch-chòrdadh = disagreement
droch-fhàistinneach = ominous
droch-mhèin = malice
droch-thuarach = sinister
Manx (Gaelg) drogh [drɔx] = evil, wicked, bad, abusive, unenviable, misfortune, badness, ill, sinister, vile
drogh aghtalys = misbehaviour, misconduct
drogh chaaynt = bad language, smut, swearing
drogh chonagh = misfortune
drogh hraghtey = to smuggle, smuggling
drogh oor = bad luck, ill-times, misfortune
Proto-Brythonic *drug = bad
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) druc, dryg, drỽc, drwc = bad
drycaruer , drygarver, drycarver = bad habit, abuse, misuse
drygdafod = scurrilous language, evil tongue
Welsh (Cymraeg) drwg [druːɡ] = bad, rotten, putrid; poor, piteous, wretched; sorry, grievous, sad; unfavourable, causing disquiet; injurious, harmful; unpleasant (taste); indecent, obscene (words); counterfeit, false; bad; harsh, cruel, severe, ruthless; corrupt, depraved, sinful, wicked, mischievous, naughty
strong>drwgabsen = malicious defamation, slander
drwgafer = bad habit, abuse, misuse
drwgdafod = scurrilous language, evil tongue
drwgenwog = infamous, notorious, disreputable
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) droc, drôg, drog = evil, wickedness, harm, injury, wrong, bad, wicked, hurtful, mischievous
droca, droga = worst
drocoleth = an evil deed, ill doing, injury, damage
droga, droaga = to do harm, hurt, injure
drogbrederys = evil-minded, malicious, envious
drogbres = ill will, spite, grudge
drogdavasec = ill-tongued, foul-mouthed, back-biting, reviling
drogger = ill report, infamy, reproach
droggeriit = infamous, reproachful
droggras = revenge, requital
drogober, drôk-ober = an evil deed, a crime
Cornish (Kernewek) drog [drɔ:g / dro:g] = bad, harm, hurt, ill, wrong, evil, invalid, nasty, naughty, wicked, wrong
drogdybi = to suspect
drogedh = vice
drogfara = to behave badly
drogga = wrong
droghandla = to abuse, mishandle
droglam = accident, crash, mishap
drogober = crime
drogboeror, drogoberores criminal, culprit
drogura = to smear
drokoleth = widkedness
drokter = wickedness
Middle Breton (Brezoneg) drouc = bad, illness, anger
drouc Ælez = the devil, bad angel
drouc auantur = misfortune, bad luck
droucyez, drouguyez = wickedness, malice, animosity
drouc =
drouc =
Breton (Brezhoneg) drouk [druːk] = bad, evil, naughty
droug [druːk] = bad, wickedness
drougiezh [druˈɡiːɛs] = wickedness, malice, animosity
droukrañsus [druˈɡrãsːys] = angry, resentful
droukaat = to become bad, make bad
drouziwezh [dru.ˈziː.wɛs] = defeat, disaster
dizrouk [ˈdi.zruk] = inoffensive, without anger

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *dʰrewgʰ- (to deceive) [source]. Word from the same roots include dream in English, droom (dream) and driegen (to deceive) in Dutch, Traum (dream) and trügen (to deceive, be deceptive) in German [source].

Proto-Celtic *dognawos = badly grown (?)
Old Irish (Goídelc) dona [ˈdona] = unlucky, unfortunate
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) dona = unfortunate, unlucky, wretched
donaide = ill-disposed, wretched
donán = miserable creature, wretch
donas = ill-luck, misfortune, calamity
donogad = act of making wretched
Irish (Gaeilge) dona [ˈd̪ˠɔn̪ˠə/ˈd̪ˠʌnˠə] = unfortunate, unlucky, bad, poor, wretched, ill
donacht = badness, wretchedmess, misfortune, illness
donagar = bad condition, misfortune
donaigh = to make worse, aggravate, become word, deteriorate, injure, maim
donaire = wretch
donaireacht = wretchedness
donaisín = little wretch, weakling
donas = ill-luck, misfortune, affliction, misery, mischief
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) dona [dɔnə] = bad, not well
donachas [dɔnəxəs] = mischief, harm, bad luck, mishap, devil
donachd [dɔnəxg] = mischief, harm, bad luck, mishap
donad [dɔnəd] = degree of badness, severity
donadas [dɔnədəs] = badness, evil
donas [dɔnəs] = mischief, harm, bad luck, devil
donasag [dɔnəsag] = imp
Manx (Gaelg) donney [ɔlk] = calamitous, ill-advised, inauspicious, unfortunate, unlucky, very ill, woeful, unhappy
donnan = dolt, dunce, stupid person, worse
donnys = affliction, bad luck, mischief, woe

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *ǵneh₃- (to recognise, know) [source]. Words from the same root include can, canny, gnome, ignore, know and quaint in English [source].

Proto-Celtic *ulkos = evil, bad
Old Irish (Goídelc) olc [olk] = bad, evil
olcas = badness
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) olc, olcc = evil, bad, wrong, misfortune
olcach = hurtful, injurious, harm, injury
olcas = badness
Irish (Gaeilge) olc [ɔl̪ˠk] = evil, harm, bad, harmful, poor, wretched, ill-disposed, hardly, scarcely
olcach = causing evil, harmful, injurious.
olcas = badness, evil, bad state, bad nature, spite
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) olc [ɔl̪ˠxg] = evil, wicked, bad, infamous, ill, iniquity
olcag [ɔl̪ˠxgag] = little brat (female)
olcair [ɔl̪ˠxgɛrʲ] = evildoer
olcas [ɔl̪ˠxgəs] = wickedness, badness
Manx (Gaelg) olk [ɔlk] = bad, evil, ill, injury, lousy, truculence, unfavourable, vicious, wicked, mischief, naughty, sinful
olkeyr = criminal, culprit, evil-doer, offender, mischief-maker
olkid = badness, evilness
olkys = badness, evilness, iniquity, mischief
olkyssagh = baleful, elfish, diabolical, iniquitous, malicious, malignant, mischievous, naughty, vicious, wicked

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁elḱ- (bad [?]) [source]. Words from the same root include ill and possibly ulcer in English, illa (badly, poorly, not well) in Swedish, and ilkeä (bad, mean, wicked, evil) in Finnish [source].

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary,, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old Irish glossary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Lexicon Cornu-britannicum: A Dictionary of the Ancient Celtic Language of Cornwall, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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