Words for black and related things in Celtic languages.

Black Beauty

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *dubus = black
Old Irish (Goídelc) dub [duv] = black; morally dark, dire, gloomy, melancholy
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) dub = black, swarthy, dark, dire, gloomy, melancholy
dubach = ink
dubachas = gloom, heaviness, grief
dubaid = to grow dark, turn black or discoloured, blacken
Irish (Gaeilge) dubh [d̪ˠʊvˠ / d̪ˠʊw] = black; evil; darkness; sable; black-hearted
dubhach = dismal, gloomy, melancholy, sorrowful, black, dark
dubhachas = gloom, sorrow
dubhaigh = to blacken, darken, blight, sadden, oppress
dúchan = blackening, darkening, sadness
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) dubh [duh] = black, dark, sad, inky, blackness, darkness
dubhach [du.əx] = ink, blackening, alum
dubhachadh [du.əxəɣ] = (act of) blackening, darkening, blackout, tarnishing
dubhachas [du.əxəs] = sadness, sorrow
dubhaich = blacken, darken, tarnish
Manx (Gaelg) doo = black, black-haired, black headed, inky, dark, ink, dirty, sable, bold
dooey = blacker, black
doo(a)ghey = to black, darken, ink
dooid = blackness, darkness
Proto-Brythonic *duβ = black
MIddle Welsh (Kymraec) du = black, dark; sad, gloomy
duaw, duo = to turn black, darken, eclipse, obscure
Welsh (Cymraeg) du [dɨː / diː] = black, sable, dark; sad, gloomy; angry; bitter; lowering; calamitous; wicked, villainous, infernal
duad = a blackening, a darkening
duaf, duo = to turn black, darken, eclipse, obscure
duaidd = blackish, dark, swarthy
duair = sarcasm
duder = blackness, darkness, gloominess
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) du = black, sable, dark, gloomy
Cornish (Kernewek) du [dy:/diˑʊ] = black, dark
duhe = blacken
duik = blackish
Old Breton (Brethonoc) du = black
Middle Breton (Brezonec) du = black, swollen, starved
duat = black, charcoal
duaff = to blacken
Breton (Brezhoneg) du [dyː] = black, swollen, starved
duaat = to become or make blacker
duad = black, charcoal
duadenn = darkness, nimbus (cloud)
duadur = blackening
duañ [dyːã] = to blacken, dirty, waste away
duder [ˈdyː.dɛr] = darkness, tan, wickedness

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewbʰ- (hazy, unclear, dark, deep) [source]. Words from the same roots include deaf, deep and dumb in English [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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