Words for roads in Celtic languages.

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Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *bow-itros = road (“cow path”)
Old Irish (Goídelc) bóthar = road, lane, track
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) bóthar, báthar, bothor, bothar = track, road
Irish (Gaeilge) bóthar [ˈbˠoːhəɾˠ / ˈbˠoːɾˠ / ˈbˠɔhəɾˠ] = road, way, manner
taobh-bhóthar = side-road
bóthar mór = main road
bóthar iarainn = railroad, railway
bóthar trasna = cross-road
bóithreoir = road-walker, traveller, vagrant
bóithreoireacht = (act of) walking, travelling the road, vagrancy
bóithrín = country lane, boreen
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bòthar [boː.ər] = alley, lane
Manx (Gaelg) bayr = lane, (country) road, roadway, pad, drive, avenue, thoroughfare
beyr = lane
bayr mooar = highroad
bayr gleashtanagh = motorway
bayr fo-halloo = subway
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) beu der, benedyr = cattle track
Welsh (Cymraeg) beudr = cattle track
Old Cornish bouder = lane
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) bounder = feeding ground, pasture, common, lane
bounder tre = village
Cornish (Kernewek) bownder [‘bɔʊndɛr / ‘bɔʊndɐr] = farm lane, lane

Etymology: from Proto-Celtic *bāus (cow) and *itos (path [?]), from PIE *gʷṓws (cattle) and *h₁itós (passable) [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) rót [r͈oːd] = road, highway
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) rót = road, highway
Irish (Gaeilge) ród [ɾˠoːd̪ˠ / ɾˠɔːd̪ˠ] = road, roadstead, route, anchorage, mooring
ródaí wayfarerm rover, road guide
ródaíocht = wayfaring, travelling, wandering from house to house tale-bearing, riding at anchor
ródán = little road, path
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) rathad [r̪ˠ] = road, way, route, path, track
rathad-iarainn = road, way, route
rathad goirid = shortcut
rathad-mòr = highway, major road, highroad
rathadach [r̪ˠa.ədəx] = pertaining to or abounding in roads, ingenious, capable, go-ahead, enterprising
rathad-beag = minor road
rathad aon-slighe = one-way road
Manx (Gaelg) raad [reːd̪ / raːd̪] = road, track, route, direction, roadway, trail, way; vent, vent-hole
raad elley = elsewhere
raad ennagh = somewhere
raad erbee = any place, anywhere
raad mooar = highway, main road, major road
raad shaghnee = by-pass
raad ushtey = waterway
raad yiarn = railway (line)
Welsh (Cymraeg) rhawd = course, way, path, journey, career, period
Middle Breton (Brezonec) rout = route, trace, itinerary
Breton (Brezhoneg) roud = route, trace, itinerary
roudenn = line, ray, stripe
rouder = road
roudoureg = to ford (a river)

Etymology: possibly from Middle English rode (riding, ride, voyage), from Old English rād (riding, hostile incursion), from Proto-West Germanic *raidu (riding, ride), from Proto-Germanic *raidō (a ride), from PIE *reydʰ- (to ride). Words from the same roots include road and raid in English.

Alternatively, the Goidelic words come from Old Irish rout, from ro-ṡét, from ro- (very, great) and sét (path), from Proto-Celtic *φro-sentu- [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) forás = growth, increase
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) forás, foras = growth, increase
Irish (Gaeilge) forás = growth, development, progess
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) foraimh [r̪ˠ] = journey, excessiveness (archaic)
foras [fɔrəs] = growth, increase, (river) ford
Proto-Brythonic forð [forð] = road, path, way, mannerh
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ford, fort, fordh, forth = road, way, street, path
yforthaul, ffordawl = traveller wayfarer, passer-by
Welsh (Cymraeg) ffordd = road, way, street, path, passage, course, route, journey
fforddiadol = acquianted with the road
ffordd(i)af, fforddi(o) = to make a way, instruct, direct, guide, travel
fforddol(yn) = traveller wayfarer, passer-by, road-mender
fforddolaf, fforddoli = to journey, traverse, guide, direct, train
fforddoliaeth = direction, instruction
ffordd(i)wr = guide, instructor, wayfarer
cyffordd = junction
croesffordd = crossroads
rheilffordd = railway\
Old Cornish ford = way, road, manner
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) fordh, ford = way, road, passage
Cornish (Kernewek) fordh [fɔrð] = way, road, manner
fordh a-dro = roundabout
fordh dhall = cul-de-sac, dead end
fordh dhibarth = junction
fordh veur = highway
fordh dremen
Breton (Brezhoneg) forzh = vagina

Etymology: from the Old English ford (ford) [source], from the Proto-West Germanic *furdu (ford), from Proto-Germanic *furduz (ford), from the Proto-Indo-European *pr̥téw-/*pértus (crossing) [source]. Words for ford in the Brythonic languages come from the same PIE root.

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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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