Fists, Palms, Hands & Arms

Words for fist, palm, hand & arm in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *ɸlāmā = palm, hand
Old Irish (Goídelc) lám [l͈aːṽ] = hand, arm, prowess, accomplishment, power
Irish (Gaeilge) lámh [l̪ˠɑːvˠ / l̪ˠæːw] = hand, arm, handle, signature, measure (of horses)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) làmh [l̪ˠaːv] = hand, arm, handle
Manx (Gaelg) laue [læu] = hand, handful, foreleg, grasp (of oar), arm
Proto-Brythonic *lọβ̃ [ˈlɔːβ̃] = palm, hand
Old Welsh lau = hand
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llaw = hand
Welsh (Cymraeg) llaw [ɬaːu̯ / ɬau̯] = hand; authority, control, rule, management, power; ownership, possession; influence; agency, instrumentality, part; guardianship, keeping, custody, care, protection; side, direction, position; skill, touch
Old Cornish lof = hand
Cornish (Kernewek) leuv [lœ:v / le:v] = hand
Old Breton lom = hand
Middle Breton lau = hand

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *pl̥h₂meh₂ (palm, hand) [source].

Proto-Celtic *bostā = palm, fist
Gaulish *bostyā = palm, fist
Old Irish (Goídelc) bos / bas = palm
Irish (Gaeilge) bos = palm (of hand); handful; slap; flat end, blade
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bas [l̪ˠaːv] = hand, arm, handle
Manx (Gaelg) bass = palm, flat of hand, blade of oar, scale pan, bass
Proto-Brythonic *bos [ˈbos] = hand
Old Welsh bos = palm
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) bos = palm
Welsh (Cymraeg) bos = palm (of the hand), unit of length
Cornish (Kernewek) bas [ba:z / bæ:z] = shallow
Middle Breton boz = hollow of the hand
Breton (Brezhoneg) boz [ˈboːs] = hollow of the hand

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *gʷésdos (branch) [source]. The Middle Latin word bostia (small box, reliquaire was borrowed from the Gaulish *bostyā, and became bostellus (bushel), the root of the French word boisseau (bushel, hollow cylinder), and the English word bushel [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) rig = forearm
Irish (Gaeilge) [d̪ˠoːɾˠn̪ˠ] = forearm
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ruighe [r̪ˠujə] = plain; forearm
Manx (Gaelg) roih = arm, forearm

Etymology: possibly from the Old Irish *reg (to stretch) [source].

Welsh (Cymraeg) braich [brai̯χ] = arm
Cornish (Kernewek) bregh [brɛ:x /bre:ʰ] = arm
Breton (Brezhoneg) brec’h = hand

Etymology: from Latin bracchium (hand) [source].

Proto-Celtic *durnos = fist
Old Irish (Goídelc) dorn = fist
Irish (Gaeilge) dorn [d̪ˠoːɾˠn̪ˠ] = fist; punch; fistful, small quantity; handle, grip
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) dòrn [dɔːr̪ˠn̪ˠ] = fist; punch; hilt; handle
Manx (Gaelg) doarn = fist, pad, sword handle, grip
Welsh (Cymraeg) dwrn = fist, hand, paw; hilt, handle, haft, pommel; knob
Cornish (Kernewek) dorn [dɔrn] = fist, hand, handle
Breton (Brezhoneg) dorn [ˈdɔʁn] = hand, fist

Etymology: probably loaned from a non-Indo-European substrate language [source].


Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, MacBain’s Dictionary, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old-Irish Glossary,, On-Line Manx Dictionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau, TermOfis

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