Crows and Ravens

Words for crow and raven in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *branos = crow, raven
Gaulish Branodūnon = place name
Primitive Irish ᚁᚏᚐᚅᚐ brana = crow, raven
Old Irish (Goídelc) bran [bran] = crow, raven
Irish (Gaeilge) bran = raven
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bran [bran] = raven (corvus corax)
Proto-Brythonic *bran = crow, raven
Welsh (Cymraeg) brân [braːn] = crow, rook, raven; warrior; crowbar
branos = little crows, young crows; warriors
cigfran = raven
Cornish (Kernewek) bran [bɹæːn] = crow
branvras = raven
Breton (Brezhoneg) bran = raven, crow

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *werneh₂- (crow), from *wer- (to burn) [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) fennóc = a scald; royston crow (hooded crow)
Irish (Gaeilge) feannóg = (hooded) crow (corvus cornix)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) feannag [fjan̪ˠag] = crow, rook
Manx (Gaelg) fannag = crow, crake

Etymology: unknown [source].

Proto-Celtic *wesākos = raven, grebe
Old Irish (Goídelc) fiach, fíach [fʲi.əx] = raven
Irish (Gaeilge) fiach [ˈfʲiəx] = raven
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) fitheach [fi.əx] = raven
Manx (Gaelg) feeagh = crake, raven
Welsh (Cymraeg) gwyach [ɡʊɨ̯.aχ /ɡʊi̯.aχ] = grebe

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Celtic *wes- (to feed, feast) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, MacBain’s Dictionary, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old-Irish Glossary,, On-Line Manx Dictionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau


One thought on “Crows and Ravens

  1. In Gaelg (Manx Gaelic), the word craue, as a verb, does indeed mean ‘to crow’ or ‘to whine’. However, as a noun, it means ‘ bone’.

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