Yellow & Gold

Words for yellow and gold and related things in Celtic languages.

Spring blossom / Blodau'r Gwanwyn

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *bodyos = yellow
Gaulish *Bayos = proper name
*Bodyokasses = Baiocasses (a Celtic tribe of Gallia Lugdunensis)
Old Irish (Goídelc) buide [ˈbuðʲe] = yellow, yellowness, buttercup, honey, pollen
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) buide = yellow, yellowness, yellow hue
buidecán, buigheacan = (egg) yolk
buidecht = yellowness
buidid = to become yellow
buidigid = to make yellow
Irish (Gaeilge) buí [bˠiː] = yellow, sallow, tan
buíbhallach = spotted with yellow
buíbhán = light yellow, cream-coloured
buíbreac = speckled with yellow
buígh = yellow, tan
buíochan = yellowing
buíochán = jaundice
buíochánach = jaundiced
buíocht = yellowness, sallowness
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) buidhe [bujə] = yellow, golden
buidhe-dhonn, buidhe-ruadh = auburn
buidhe-shoilleir = amber
buidheagan [bujagan] = (egg) yolk
buidhich [bujɪç] = ripen (of cereals)
Manx (Gaelg) buigh, bwee = yellow, jaundiced, tan, sallow, fair headed
buighaghey = to yellow, jaundice
buighaghey = yellowing, jaundice

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *bodyos (yellow) [source]. Related to the English word bay (tree, leaf) ( [source].

Proto-Celtic *melinos = yellow
Proto-Brythonic *melino- = yellow
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) melen, melin, melyn = yellow, golden, gold; yellow-haired, blond
melynu = to be or become yellow or golden
melynoc, mylynog = yellowhammer, yellow bunting, goldfinch, linnet
melyn wy, melyn wi = yolk
Welsh (Cymraeg) melyn [ˈmɛlɨ̞n / ˈmɛlɪn] = yellow, golden, (made of) gold; yellow-haired, blond; light-bay (horse); yellow, sallow, livid, or brown (skin); brown (sugar); deadly, implacable, unpleasant
melynaf, melynu = to be or become yellow or golden
melynaidd = yellowish, golden, sallow
melynddu = yellowish-brown, dark yellow, tawny, russet, roan, swarthy, dusky
melynog = yellowhammer, yellow bunting, goldfinch, linnet, canary
melynwy = yolk
Old Cornish milin = yellow
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) melyn, melen, milin = yellow, the colour of honey
melynoy = egg yolk
Cornish (Kernewek) melyn [‘mɛlɪn / ‘mɛlən ] = yellow, fair, blonde
melyn oy = egg yolk
melynrudh = orange, yellowish orange
Middle Breton (Brezonec) melen = yellow, blonde
melen vy = egg yolk
Breton (Brezhoneg) melen = yellow, blonde
melen-vi = egg yolk
melenaat = to become / make yellow, to turn blond
melenadur = yellowing
melenard = a person with a yellow complexion
melenin, meleniñ = to yellow

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *mélit (honey) [source], words from the same PIE root include mulch and melleous (pertaining to honey) in English, and words for honey in Celtic and other European languages [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) ór = gold
ordae = golden
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) ór = gold
órda, órdae = made of gold, golden, resembling gold
Irish (Gaeilge) òr [oːɾˠ] = gold
óraigh = to gild
órbhuí = golden (colour)
órbhuille = gold leaf
órghréas = (gold) filigree
órphlátáilte = gold-plated
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) òr [ɔːr] = gold
òir-cheàrd = goldsmith
òr-bhuidhe = gold-coloured, auburn
òr-ubhal = orange (fruit)
òradh [ɔːrəɣ] = gilding, gilt, gold digging
òrail / òra [ɔːral/ɔːrə] = gold(en), gilded
Manx (Gaelg) airh = gold, bullion, gilt
oar = gold
airhey = to gild; gilt, gilt-edged, golden
airh ghlen = pure gold
airhoil = auriferous, aurous, looking like gold
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) eur, aur = gold(en)
eurir, eurha, euraw = to gild, adorn with gold, make golden
eureyt, eureit, euraid = golden, brilliant, splendid, glorious, precious
Welsh (Cymraeg) aur [aɨ̯r/ai̯r] = gold, gold money or coin(s), wealth; gold (colour); gold(en)
euraf, euro = to gild, adorn with gold, make golden
euraid = golden, brilliant, splendid, glorious, precious
euraidd = golden, precious, illustrious, refined, virtuous
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) our = gold
ourlyn = silk
Cornish (Kernewek) owr [ɔʊr] = gold, red-gold
owraval = orange
owrbesk, owrbysk = goldfish
owrek = golden
owrlin = silk
Middle Breton (Brezonec) aour = gold
aourek = (deposit of) gold
aourfebrer = goldsmith
aourin, aouriñ = to brown
aourra = to look for gold
aourraer = gold panning
Breton (Brezhoneg) aour = gold
aourek = (deposit of) gold
aourfebrer = goldsmith
aourin, aouriñ = to brown
aourra = to look for gold
aourraer = gold panning

Etymology: from Latin aureus (gold, golden, gilded), from aurum (gold), from Proto-Italic *auzom (gold), from PIE *h₂é-h₂us-óm (gold), from *h₂ews- (to dawn, become light, become red). Words from the same PIE roots include air, aura, auriferous (gold-bearing), aurora, Australia, and east 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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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