Eyes & Sun

Today we’re looking at the words for sun, eye and related things in Celtic languages.

A view from Jack Scout

Proto-Celtic *sūle = suns, dual of *sūlos, genitive of *sāwol = sun
Primitive Irish *sūli = eye
Old Irish (Goídelc) súil [suːlʲ] = eye, hope, expectation
Irish (Gaeilge) súil [sˠuːlʲ / sˠuːl] = eye; expectation, hope; something resembling or suggesting an eye
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sùil [suːl] = eye; glance, look; expectation; fancy, notion; opening; (rope) eye
Manx (Gaelg) sooill [suːlʲ] = eye, eyepiece, ocellus, sheath of bud, hole of strap
Welsh (Cymraeg) haul [haɨ̯l / hai̯l] = sun, sunlight
heulo = to shine, be sunny, expose to the sun, air (clothes), display
heulog = sunny, solar, cheerful, smiling
torheulo, bolaheulo = to sunbathe
Middle Cornish houl = sun
Cornish (Kernewek) howl [hɔʊl] = sun
howldrevel = sunrise, east
howllen = parasol
howlleski = to tan
howlleskys = sunburnt, tan
howllosk = sunburn
howlsedhes = sunset, west
Breton (Brezhoneg) heol = sun, sunny place, censer

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *sóh₂wl̥. (sun) [source].

Proto-Celtic *sawenos = sun
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) haun, hvun = sun, sunlight, sunshine
Welsh (Cymraeg) haun [ˈhɨ.an / ˈhiː.an] = sun, sunlight, sunshine, bright, radiant, sunny
Breton (Brezhoneg) huon = sun

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *sh̥₂uén, from *sóh₂wl̥ (sun) [source].

Proto-Celtic *lukato- = eye
Proto-Brythonic *lugad = eye
Welsh (Cymraeg) llygad [ˈɬəɡad] = eye; iris of the eye; region around the eye; look, gaze; sight, vision; viewpoint
Cornish (Kernewek) lagas [‘lagas / lægɐz] = eye
Breton (Brezhoneg) lagad [ˈla.ɡat] = eye, look, light, eyelet, sleeve, mesh

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (to shine) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *grēnā / *gʷrensnā = sun
Old Irish (Goídelc) grian [ɡʲrʲiːa̯n] = sun
Irish (Gaeilge) grian [ˈgɾʲiənˠ] = sun; paragon
grianach = sunny, cheerful, pleasant
grianadh = sunning, basking
grianán = sunny upper room , solar; person of sunny disposition, loved one, darling
grianbhuí = mellow, golden, sunlight
grianchlog = sundial
grianchóras = solar system
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) grian [grʲian] = sun
grainach [grʲianəx] = sunny
grainan = sunny spot; place for drying (esp. peat); sundog, mock sun (parhelion)
grian-stad = solstice
Manx (Gaelg) grian [ɡriːn / ɡriᵈn] = sun, sunlight, sunshine
grian-vroit = sunbaked

Etymology: possibly from Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰer- (to be warm, hot) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old Irish glossary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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