Harps and Crwths

Words for harp, crwth and similar instruments, in Celtic languages:

Clàrsach class 2017

Proto-Celtic *kruttos = string instrument
Old Irish (Goídelc) crott [krot] = harp, lute
cruittire = harper
Irish (Gaeilge) cruit [kɾˠɪtʲ] = (small) harp
cruitire = harpist
cruitireacht = (act of) harping
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cruit [kruhdʲ] = (small) harp, lyre
cruit-chòrda = harpsichord
cruit-chiùil = strong instrument
cruit-rotha = hurdy-gurdy, barrel-organ
cruiteag = small harp, small lyre
cruitear = harpist, lyre-player
Manx (Gaelg) cruitçh = (small) harp
cruitcheragh = harpist
cruitcheraght, kruiteryght = harping
Proto-Brythonic *kruθ = crowd, fiddle, violin
Old Welsh crud = crowd, fiddle, violin
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) crwth, croth = crowd, fiddle, violin
crythawr = crowder, fiddler
Welsh (Cymraeg) crwth [kruːθ] = crwth, crowd, fiddle, violin, viol
crythor, crythwr = crowder, fiddler
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) crowd = fiddle, violin
crowder = fiddler
Cornish (Kernewek) krowd = violin

Etymology: possibly related to the Proto-Celtic *krundis (round). [source].

The crwth is also known as a crowd, cruth, crowth, crouth or rote in English. It is a kind of bowed lyre. It is particularly associated with Wales, but similar instruments were played in many parts of Europe from about the 11th century. It went out of fashion in the 18th century, but was revived in the 20th century. More information.

Old Irish (Goídelc) cláirsech = harp
Irish (Gaeilge) cláirseach [ˈklˠɑːɾˠʃəx / ˈklˠæːɾˠʃa(h)] = harp
cláirseoir = harpist
cláirseoireacht = (act of) playing the harp, harping
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) clàrsach [klˠaːrˠsəx] = harp, clarsach
clàrsair = harper
clàrsaireachd = harp music, harping
Manx (Gaelg) claasagh = harp
claaseyr = harpist
claaseyraght = harping

Etymology: from the Old Irish clár (board, plank, table), from the Proto-Celtic *klārom (plank, board, table), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *kleh₂ro- (plank) [source].

The Welsh word clawr (cover, lid), and the Breton kleur (stilt peg) come from the same Proto-Celtic root [more details].

Irish (Gaeilge) teillén = swarm of bees
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) telyn = harp
Welsh (Cymraeg) telyn [ˈtɛlɨn / ˈteːlɪn] = harp
telyn(i)af, telynu = to play the harp
telynaidd = pertaining to the harp, like a harp, lyric (poetry)
telynan = small harp, cithern, gittern, minstrel
telyngord = harpischord
telyn(i)wr, telynores, telynydd = harper
Old Cornish telein = harp
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) telein = harp
teleinior = harper
Cornish (Kernewek) telyn = harp
telynnya = to play the harp
telynnyer, telynynores = harpist
Breton (Brezhoneg) telenn = harp
telennour = harpist

Etymology: unknown. The Irish word teillén may or may not be related.

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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