Words for strength and related things in Celtic languages.


Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *brīgos = strength
*brīga = power, worth
Gaulish *brīgos = strength
Old Irish (Goídelc) bríg [bʲrʲiːɣ / bʲrʲiːɣʲ] = force, power, value, virtue, strength, vigour, vitality
brígach = powerful, mighty, strong
brígmar = powerful
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) bríg, brigh = power, strength, force, authority, vigour, virtue, might, value, worth, advantage, meaning
brígach = powerful, mighty, forceful
brígda = strong, vigorous
brígmar = powerful, strong, vigorous, lively, efficacious
brígrad = power, force
Irish (Gaeilge) brí [brʲiː] = strength, vigour; force, significance; influence, merit
bríoch = strong, vigorous, efficacious
bríochmar = strong, viorous
bríochtach = strong, vigorous person
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) brìgh [brʲiː] = essence, gist, matter, pith, purport, substance; meaning, sense, significance; point (of an argument); energy, force
brìghealachd [brʲiː.əLəxg] = substance, juiciness, pithiness, significance (in mathematics)
brìgheil [brʲiː.al] = meaningful, significant
brìoghmhor [brʲiː(v)ər] = meaningful, energetic, substantial, pithy
Manx (Gaelg) bree = power, energy, stamina, vigour, virtue, initiative, validity, animation, inwardness, glow, exhalation, drift, essence, gist, effect
breeagh = inspiring, vigorous
breeoil = dynamic, energetic, essential, impulsive, valid, vibrant, vigorous, active, powerful
Proto-Brythonic *briɣ = honour, dignity (?)
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) bri = honour, dignity, reputation, fame
Welsh (Cymraeg) bri [briː] = honour, dignity, reputation, fame, prestige, esteem, power, authority, importance, value, popularity
briaeth = honour, dignity
briol = honourable, reverent, dignified
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) bry = account, value, worth, price
Cornish (Kernewek) bri = distinction, esteem, importance, relevance, reputation, value, prominence
fowt bri = insignificance
heb bri = irelevant
Old Breton (Brethonoc) bri = importance, weight, authority
Middle Breton (Brezonec) bry = respect, consideration
Breton (Brezhoneg) bri [briː] = dignity, honour, respect, consideration
brient = privilege, prerogative
brientek [bri.ˈɛn.tek] = privileged
brientin = = privileged, aristocrat

Etymology: possibly the Proto-Indo-European *bʰrḗǵʰ-o-s, from *bʰerǵʰ- (to rise, ascend, to be elevated, up high). Words from the same roots, via Gaulish, include brio (vigour, vivacity) in English, briu (energy, push, courage) in Catalan, brio (vivacity, liveliness) in Italian, brío (vigour, mettle, zeal) in Spanish, and brio (brilliance, panache) in French [Source].

Words from the same PIE roots include barrow, burrow, bury, effort, force and fort in English, and brenin (king), bwrw (to hit, strike, cast) in Welsh [Source].

Proto-Celtic *nertom = strength, power
Celtiberian Nerto- = strength (?)
Gaulish Nerto- = strength (?)
Old Irish (Goídelc) nert [n͈ʲer͈t] = power, strength
nertaid [ˈn͈ʲer͈tɨðʲ] = to strengthen
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) nert, nnert, nirt = strength, might, power, ability, significance
nertaid = to strengthen, confirm, exhort, urge
nertaigid = to strengthen, confirm, encourage, grow strong, side with support
Irish (Gaeilge) neart [nʲaɾˠt̪ˠ / n̠ʲæɾˠt̪ˠ] = strength, force, power, ability, plenty
neartaigh = to strengthen
neartaitheach = strengthening, reinforcing
neartaitheoir = strengthener, abettor
neartmhaire = vigorousness, strength
neartmhar = strong, vigorous, powerful
neartú = strengthening, reinforcement, support
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) neart [̪nʲɛRʃd] = might, strength, force, energy, power, (alcoholic) proof, majority, most
neartachadh [n̪ʲɛRʃdəxəɣ] = strengthening, building up, making strong
neartaich strengthen, build up, make strong
neartaiche = strengthener, emphasiser
neartail = mighty, powerful, emphatic, forcible
neartmhor = mighty, powerful, emphatic, forcible
neartmhorachd = robustness, vigour
Manx (Gaelg) niart = strength, power, force
niartaght = strength
niartal = cogent, forcible, mighty, potent, powerful, strong
niarteyder = strengthener
Proto-Brythonic *nerθ [nɛrθ] = strenght, force, power
Old Welsh (Kembraec) nerthi = to strengthen, reinforce, fortify
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) nerth, nyrth = force, strength, power, might
nerthawc, nerthawg, nerthog = strong, mighty, powerful
nerthawl, nerthol = strong, mighty, powerful
nerthu = to strengthen, reinforce, fortify
nerthyd, nerthwr = fortifier, supporter, helper
Welsh (Cymraeg) nerth [nɛrθ] = force, strength, power, might, energy, vigour, hardness
nerthedig = strong, strengthened
nerthog = strong, mighty, powerful, potent
nerthol = strong, mighty, powerful, potent
nerthu = to strengthen, reinforce, fortify, aid, help, exhort, urge
nerthwr, nerthydd = fortifier, supporter, helper
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) nerth = might, power, strength, force
Cornish (Kernewek) nerth [nɛrθ] = energy, force, might, power, strength
nertha = to strengthen
nerthek = energetic, powerful, robust
Old Breton (Brethonoc) nerth = force, energy
Middle Breton (Brezonec) nerz, nerh = force, energy
nerzus, nerhus = vigorous, robust, energetic
Breton (Brezhoneg) nerzh [nɛrs] = force, energy
nerzhan nerzhañ [ˈnɛrzan / ˈnɛrzã] = to strengthen, reinforce
nerzhder = vigueur
nerzhek = drastic
nerzhekaat = to give energy
nerzhelour = dynamic
nerzhus = vigorous
nerzhusaat = to strengthen oneself

Etymology: possibly the Proto-Indo-European *h₂ner-to- (virile, strong), from *h₂nḗr- (man, vital, energy). Words from the same roots include njer (man, human, person) in Albanian, άντρας [ˈandras] (man, husband) in Greek, noras (wish, desire, will, intention) in Lithuanian, nêr (lord, chief) in Welsh, and the name Nero [Source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) láitir = strong, powerful
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) láitir, laitir [ˈl͈aːdʲərʲ] = strong, powerful
Irish (Gaeilge) láidir [ˈl̪ˠɑːdʲəɾʲ / ˈl̪ˠaːdʲəɾʲ] = strong, powerful, durable, tough, solid, forcible, loud
láidreacht = strength
láidrigh = to strengthen
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) làidir [l̪aːdʲɪrʲ] = strong, potent, emphatic, robust, substantial
làidireachd = strength
làidireach = strong, potent, emphatic
làidrich = make strong, strengthen
Manx (Gaelg) lajer = strong, potent, vigorous, hard, heavy, powerful, stark
lajeragh = to strengthen, strengthening
lajerid = potency, powerfulness, strength, vigour
lajerys = cogency, force, might, prowess, strength

Etymology: unknown [Source].

Irish (Gaeilge) cadrán = hardness, stubborness, obstinacy
cadránta = hard, unfeeling, stubborn, obstinate
cadrántacht = hardness, stubborness, obstinacy
Proto-Brythonic *kadarn = strong, powerful, mighty (?)
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cadarn, kadarn, katarnn = strong, powerful, mighty
cadarnhau, kadarnaha = to strengthen, secure, fortify, safeguard
kedernyt, kedernit, cedernyt = strength, power, potency, might
Welsh (Cymraeg) cadarn [ˈka(ː)darn] = strong, powerful, mighty, firm, fast
cadarnhad = confirmation
cadarnhau = to strengthen, secure, fortify, safeguard
cadernid = strength, power, potency, might
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cadarn = strong, stout, valiant

Etymology: from Proto-Celtic *katus (battle), from Proto-Indo-European *kéh₃tus (battle), from *keh₃- (to fight). Words from the same roots include Hader (dispute, quarrel) and hadern (to quarrel, bicker, struggle) in German, and words for battle in Celtic languages [Source].

Proto-Celtic *kriɸmos = strong (?)
Proto-Brythonic *krɨβ̃ = strong
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cryf, kryf = strong, powerful, vigorous
cryfder = strength, power, might
Welsh (Cymraeg) cryf [krɨːv / kriːv] = strong, powerful, vigorous, intoxicating, tough, rich, fruitful, intense
cryfder = strength, power, might
cryfhau = to strengthen
Old Cornish crif = strong, mighty, vigorous, hardy
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cref, crŷf, crif, crev = strong, mighty, vigorous, hardy
Cornish (Kernewek) krev = forceful, powerful, robust, strong, substantial
krevder = intensity, strength
Middle Breton (Brezonec) cref, creff = strong, powerful
Breton (Brezhoneg) kreñv [ˈkrẽ(w)] = strong, solid
kreñvaat [krẽˈfɑːt] = to strengthen, reinforce
kreñvder [ˈkrẽ(w)dɛr] = strength, power, might
kreñvlec’h = stronghold, fortress

Etymology: from Proto-Celtic *kriɸ- (body) from Proto-Indo-European *krep- (body). Words for body in Celtic and other languages come from the same roots [Source].

Proto-Celtic *trexsnos = strong
*trexsos = stronger
Gaulish Trexius, Trexa, Trenus = personal names
Primitive Irish ᚈᚈᚏᚓᚅᚐᚂᚒᚌᚑᚄ (ttrenalugos), ᚈᚏᚓᚅᚐᚌᚒᚄᚒ (trenagusu) = (?)
Old Irish (Goídelc) trén [tʲrʲeːn] = strong
treise = power, strength
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) trén = strong, powerful, strong man
treise = strength, vigour, power
Irish (Gaeilge) tréan = strong man, warrior, champion, strength, power, intensity, plenty, abundance
tréaniarracht = strong, forcible, attempt
treise = strength, power, dominance, force, emphasis
treisigh = to strengthen, reinforce, fortify
treisiúil = strong, forceful, vigorous
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) trèine [treːnə] = might, power
treise [treʃə] = strength, vigour
treun [treːn] = champion, hero, brave, strong, sturdy
treunar [treːnər] = strong man, champion, hero; very brave, heroic
treunas = might, power
treuntachd = boldness, courage
treuntas = strength, power, magnanimity
Manx (Gaelg) trean = brave, firm, heroic, intensive, mighty, stout, valiant
treanid = braveness, exploit, feat heroics, might, strength, valour
Proto-Brythonic *trex = stronger
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) trech = stronger, mightier, greater, superior, better
Welsh (Cymraeg) trech [treːχ] = stronger, mightier, greater, superior, better
trechedd = supremacy, dominance
trechu = to defeat, overcome, overpower
Cornish (Kernewek) trygh = conquest, victory, superior, triumphant, victorious
trygher = victor
tryghi = to conquer, vanquish
Middle Breton (Brezonec) trech = victorious, victory
trechy, trechiff = to conquer, prevail, overcome
Breton (Brezhoneg) trec’h [briː] = superior, victorious, victory
trec’hadeg = triumph
trec’hadenn = success
trec’hedigezh = defeat
trec’her = winner
trec’hin, trec’hiñ = to conquer, prevail, overcome
trec’hus = victorious

Etymology: the Proto-Indo-European *(s)treg- (to be stiff, rigid, strong) or *treg- (strength). Words from the same roots include þróttur (strength, vigour, energy) in Icelandic, and idrott (sport, physical education) in Swedish [Source].

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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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