Words for free and related things in Celtic languages.


Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *su-wiros = free (“good man”)
Old Irish (Goídelc) saer [soːi̯r] = free, freeman, noble, craftsman
saeraid [ˈsoːi̯rɨðʲ] = to free, liberate, deliver, save, exempt
saire [ˈsai̯.rʲe] = freedom, liberty
Middle Irish saer, soer, sóer = free, freeman, noble, ready, skilled,
sáeraid = to free, liberate, save, rescue, deliver
saíre, sóire = freedom, liberty, nobility,
Irish (Gaeilge) saor [sˠeːɾˠ/sˠiːɾˠ] = free, enfranchised; noble; independent
saoradh = liberation, deliverance, release, acquittal, assurance, confirmation
saoráid = ease, facility, ease, freedom from constraint
saoráideach = easy, facile
saoráidí = easiness, facileness
saoráil = freedom, bargin
saorálach = voluntary, free, unconstrained
saorálaí = volunteer
saoirse = freedom, immunity, exemption
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) saor [sɯːr] = free (not captive); cheap; frank
saora [sɯːr̪ˠsə] = freedom, liberty, redemption
saorachd [sɯːrəxg] = freedom, cheapness
saoradair [sɯːrədɪrʲ] = liberator
saoradh [sɯːrəɣ] = freeing, libterating, liberation
saorsach = [sɯːr̪ˠsəx] = free, unrestrained
saorsachd = [sɯːr̪ˠsəxg] = freedom, exemption
saorsainn [sɯːr̪ˠsɪn̪ʲ] = liberty
Manx (Gaelg) seyr [seːr] = free, gratuitous, gratis, complimentary, immune, floating, independent, unforced
seyrsnys = autonomy, exemption, freedom, immunity, independence
seyrey = absolution, exemption, liberation; to absolve, acquite, exempt, free, libterate

Etymology: from Proto-Celtic *su- (good, well), from PIE *h₁su- (good, well), and Proto-Celtic *wiros (man, husband), from PIE *wiHrós (man, husband) [source]

The Irish name Fearghal (Fergal, Feargal), and the English name Farrell come from the Proto-Celtic name *Wirogalos, from *wiros (man) and‎ *galā (valour, ability) [source], and the Irish name Fearghas and the English version, Fergus, come from the Proto-Celtic name *Wirogustus, from *wiros (man) and‎ *gustus (excellence, force) [source]

Proto-Celtic *ɸriyos = free
Proto-Brythonic *rɨð [ˈrɨːð] = free
Middle Welsh (Cymraeg) ryd, rit = free, nonconformist; unrestricted, unrestrained; open; liberal
ryddd-dab, rydd-deb = freedom, liberation, deliverance, immunity
ryddhâd, rhyddhaad = release, libteration, freedom
rydhaw, rydhaa, rytha = to free, release, liberate
Welsh (Cymraeg) rhydd [r̥ɨːð / r̥iːð] = free, nonconformist; unrestricted, unrestrained; open; liberal
rhyddd-deb = freedom, liberation, deliverance, immunity
rhyddhad = release, libteration, freedom
rhyddhaf, rhyddhau = to free, release, liberate
Old Cornish rid = free
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) rid, ruid = free, unconstrained
Cornish (Kernewek) rydh [rɪ:ð / ri:ð] = free
rydhses = freedom, liberty
Old Breton (Brethonoc rid = free

Etymology: possibly from Proto-Indo-European *priHós (dear, beloved, happy, free), from *preyH- (like, love) [source]. English words from the same PIE roots include free(dom), friend and proper [source].

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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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