Hills

Words for hill and related words in Celtic languages.

There are several Proto-Celtic words for hill: *brendo-, *brixs, *dindu- / dinnu-, *dumjo. *knokkos. *lettrek-, *mello-, *roino- and *tumbo-. *krakko- is a hillock or scab, and *krouka- is a mound.

Only *brixs and *knokkos appear to have descendents in the modern Celtic languages.

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Proto-Celtic *ardwos = high
Gaulish Arduenna = place name
Old Irish (Goídelc) ard [ar͈d] = high, height
Irish (Gaeilge) ard [ɑːɾˠd̪ˠ/æːɾˠd̪ˠ] = height, hillock, top, high part, elevation, head, rise, ascent
ardaigh = to raise, elevate, ascend, carry
ardaitheoir = lift, elevator
na farraigí arda = the high seas
sála arda = high heels
Ard-Aifreann = High Mass
Ard-Aighne = Attorney-General
ardaingeal = archangel
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) àrd [aːr̪ˠd] = high, lofy, tall, great, loud, chief, eminent, superior, supreme
àrd-bheinn = pinnacle
Manx (Gaelg) ard [ø(r)d] = high, towering, tall, big, loud, height, high place, fell, incline
Proto-Brythonic *arð = high
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ard, art = hill
Welsh (Cymraeg) ardd [arð/aːrð] = hill, highland, top, high, upland
Cornish (Kernewek) ardh = height, high place
Breton (Brezhoneg) arz = high, elevated, lofty

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *h₃r̥dʰwós, from *h₃erdʰ- (to increase, grow, upright, high) [source], which is also the root of the Latin word arbor (tree) and words for tree in Romance languages [source].

Proto-Celtic *knokkos = protuberance, hill
Old Irish (Goídelc) cnocc [knok] = hill, lump, swelling
cnoccach [ˈknokax] = hilly, lumpy
cnocán [ˈknokaːn] = little lump, mound, hill
Irish (Gaeilge) cnoc [kn̪ˠɔk / kn̪ˠʊk/ kɾˠʊk] = hill, mount
cnocach = hilly
cnocadóir = hillman, hillclimber
cnocadóireacht = hill-climbing
cnocán = hillock, heap
cnocánach = hilly, uneven
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cnoc [krɔ̃xg] = hill, small hill, hillock, knoll, chilblain
cnocach [krɔ̃xgəx] = hilly, rugged, abrupt
cnocaireachd [krɔ̃xgɛrʲəxg] = rough hill walking, pacing
cnocan [krɔ̃xgan] = hillock, ball of fibre
Manx (Gaelg) cronk = mount, tor, hill,
crongan = mound, small hill, tuffet, tumulus, hillock
cronkan = knoll, small hill, hillock
Proto-Brythonic *knox = hill, mound
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cnwch = swelling, protuberance, thickness, hump
Welsh (Cymraeg) cnwc = hillock, knoll; swelling, tumour, lump, knob, hump
cnocell = hillock, knoll
Cornish (Kernewek) krug = hill
Old Breton cnoch = hill
Middle Breton cnech = hill
Breton (Brezhoneg) krec’h = height, eminence, mound

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *kneg- (back of the head, nape, neck). The English word neck, and related words in other Germanic languages, come from the same root [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) bruinne = breast(s), bosom, chest; womb
Irish (Gaeilge) broinne [kn̪ˠɔk / knˠɔk / kɾˠʊk] = breast, bosom; brink, verge
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) broinne [brɤin̪ʲ] = belly, stomach; womb; bulge
Manx (Gaelg) brein = womb
Welsh (Cymraeg) bryn = hill, mount, rise, bank; heap, mound; prominence, highness
bron = breast, bosom
Cornish (Kernewek) bronn / brodn [brɔn: / brɔdn] = breast, hill
Breton (Brezhoneg) bronn = breast

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *brusni̯o- (hill) [source].

Another Breton word for hill is torgenn.

Proto-Celtic *brixs / *brig- = hill
Gaulish *brignā, -brigā = hill
Old Irish (Goídelc) brí [bʲrʲiː] = hill
Irish (Gaeilge) brí = brae, hill
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bre = hill, headland
Proto-Brythonic *breɣ [ˈbrɛːɣ] = hill
Welsh (Cymraeg) bre = hill, hillock, mountain, hill-country, upland, peak
Cornish (Kernewek) bre [brɛ: / bre:] = hill
Breton (Brezhoneg) bre = hill

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰerǵʰ- (high,) [source].

The Spanish word breña (scrub, brush, rough ground), the Portuguese word brenha (scrub, complication, confusion) come from the Gaulish *brignā, via the Vulgar Latin *brigna (rocky terrain) [source].

From the same PIE root we get the English words burrow and borough, and words in placenames such as burg, burgh and bury, and also the German Burg (castle), the Danish borg (castle, stronghold), and related words in other Germanic languages.

Proto-Celtic *krowko- = heap
Old Irish (Goídelc) crúach = stack, mountain, hill
Irish (Gaeilge) cruach [kɾˠuəx] = stack, rick, pile, (mountain) stack
cruachach = full of stacks
cruachadóir = stack-builder
cruachadóireacht = (act of) building stacks
cruachán = (small) stack; person of stunned growth
cruachóg = heap
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cruach [kruəx] = pile, stack; round hill; clamp (stack)
cho seasgair ri luchag ann an cruach = as snug as a bug in a rug (“as snug as a mouse in a haystack”)
cruach-fheòir = haystack
cruach-mhòna, cruach mònach = peat-stack
cruach-sheangan = anthill
Manx (Gaelg) creagh = stack, furrow
creagh fendeilagh = barricade
creagh hraagh = haystack
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) krug, gruc, grvg = hillock
Welsh (Cymraeg) crug = hillock, knoll, cairn, tumulus, heap, mass, stack, group, company, multitude; pustule, abscess, boil, carbuncle
Old Cornish cruc = hillock
Cornish (Kernewek) krug = mound, tumulus
Old Breton cruc = hillock
Breton (Brezhoneg) cruc = hillock

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *krā(u)- (to heap up) [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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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