Words for mountain and related words in Celtic languages.

Cwm Idwal

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *slēbos = mountain, slope
Old Irish (Goídelc) sliab [sʲl͈ʲiːa̯v] = mountain, mountain range; moor
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) sliab = mountain, mountain range, moor, moorland
Irish (Gaeilge) sliabh [ʃlʲiəvˠ / ʃl̠ʲiəvˠ / ʃl̠ʲiəw] = mountain, moor, moorland
sliabhraon = mountain range
sléibhteánach = mountain dweller
sléibhteoir = mountaineer
sléibhteoireacht = mountaineering
sléibhtiúil = mountainous, hilly,moorish
sléibhtiúlacht = hilliness
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sliabh [ʃl̪ʲiəv] = hillside, slope, mountain
sliabh-mònach = peat moor
sliabhach, slèibhteach = mountainous
sliabhair [ʃl̪ʲiəvɛrʲ] = mountaineer
slèibhteag [ʃl̪ʲeːvdʲag] = small hillside/slope, small mountain
Manx (Gaelg) slieau [slʲuː / ʃlʲuː] = mountain, fell, hillside, moor, berg

Etymology: possibly from PIE *sley-bʰo- from *sley- (to smear), or from PIE *slewb(ʰ)- (to slip, glide) [source].

Proto-Celtic *moniyos = mountain
Pictish monid = mountain
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) moned, monad = mountain
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) monadh [mɔnəɣ] = mountain (covered with moors), high-lying moorland; expanse of heather
Manx (Gaelg) muyne = mountain
Proto-Brythonic *mönɨð = mountain
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) minid, menyd, mynyd, mynyth [ˈmənɨð] = mountain
mynyddig, mynyddic = mountainous, hilly, highland, wild, rustic
Welsh (Cymraeg) mynydd [ˈmənɨ̞ð / ˈmənɪð] = mountain, (large) hill, large pile, great amount; common, unenclosed land, mountain land, moorland; agricultural land; plain
mynydda = to climb mountains, go mountain walking, plough and harrow
mynyddaidd = mountainous, like a mountain
mynyddbarth = mountainous region
mynyddig = mountainous, hilly, highland, wild, rustic
mynyddigion = inhabitants of the mountains
mynyddwr = mountain dweller, highlander, mountaineer
Old Cornish menit = mountain
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) menedh, menydh, mynydh = mountain
Cornish (Kernewek) menydh, menedh [‘mɛnɪð] = mountain, hill, uphill
menydh rew / menydh yey = iceberg
Old Breton monid = mountain
Middle Breton (Brezonec) menez, = mount, mountain
Breton (Brezhoneg) menez = mount, mountain
menezeg = mountainous
meneziad = mountaineer
menezus = mountainous

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *men- (to tower, stand out) [source], which is also the root of English words such as mount, mountain, prominent and eminent [source].

See the post about Peaks for other mountain-related words, such as beann in Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

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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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