Houses, Towns & Villages

Words for house, town, village in Celtic languages.

An Clachán, Gleann Cholm Cille

Proto-Celtic *baliyos, *baljo- = house
Old Irish (Goídelc) baile [ˈbalʲe] = place, homestead, town, city
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) baile = place, settlement, farm(stead), (fortified) village, town, city
gráig-baile = hamlet, village
Irish (Gaeilge) baile [ˈbˠalʲə] = home, place, township
abhaile = home, homewards
ardbhaile = chief town, centre
Baile Átha Cliath = Dublin
baile beag = village
baile mór = town
bruachbhaile, fo-bhaile = suburb
leathanach baile = homepage
sráídbhaile = village
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) baile [balə] = town, township, village, hamlet, town, home, farm
baileachan = small town, village
baile-beag = town, village
baile-fearainn = farmstead, townland
baile-mór = town, city
baile-turasachd = holiday resort
prìomh-bhaile = capital city
Manx (Gaelg balley = town, home, farmstead, base
balley beg = village, hamlet, homestead, settlement
balley dooghys = home town
balley margee = market town
Balley Chashtal = Castletown
fo-valley = suburb
preeu-valley, ard-valley = (capital) city

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰuH- (to become, appear, grow) [source].

Words from the same PIE root include ból (dwelling, abode, home, lair, bed) in Icelandic, boedel (estate) in Dutch, and bosky (bushy, bristling) in English [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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