Celtic words for goose, waterfowl of the genus of the family Anatidae.

Geese / Gwyddau

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *gezdā = goose
Old Irish (Goídelc) géd = goose
Irish (Gaeilge) [ɟeː] = goose
gé ghlas = greylag goose (Anser anser)
gé ghiúrainn = barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)
cadhan = brent goose (Branta bernicla)
gé Cheanadach = Canada goose (Branta canadensis)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) gèadh [gʲiəɣ] = goose
gèadh-glas = greylag goose
cathach [ka.əx] = barnacle goose
gèadh-got = brent goose
gèadh Canadach = Canada goose
Manx (Gaelg) guiy = goose
guiy glass = greylag goose
guiy twoaie = barnacle goose
guiy breck = brent goose
guiy Canadagh = Canada goose
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) guit = goose
Welsh (Cymraeg) gŵydd [ɡuːɨ̯ð / ɡʊi̯ð] = goose, simpleton
gŵydd wyllt (gyffredin) = greylag goose, wild goose
gŵydd (g)wyrain = barnacle goose
gŵydd ddu brent goose
gŵydd Ganada = Canada goose
Old Cornish guit = goose
Cornish (Kernewek) goedh = goose
goth wyls = greylag goose, wild goose
morwoth = barnacle goose
goth mannow = brent goose
goth kanada = Canada goos
Breton (Brezhoneg) gwaz = goose
gwaz louet = greylag goose, wild goose
garreli dremm wenn = barnacle goose
garreli boutin = brent goose
garreli-Kanada = Canada goose

Note: the types of goose mentioned here are commonly found in Celtic-speaking areas. Other types of geese are available.

Here’s a tune I wrote inspired by a couple of geese (pictured above) who used to live on the seashore in Bangor, and who I called Bertie and Gertie: Goosing Around / Gwyddio o Gwmpas

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

One thought on “Geese

  1. In Michigan, we have lots of Canadian geese. And when I say lots, I don’t mean “lots”. I mean, LOTS and LOTS. Not really sure why. They seem to like eating grass from people’s lawns. Michigan has a lot of in-land lakes, so that might be a draw for them, but even in places where there’s not much in the way of lakes or ponds, you can find them everywhere. They are lovely creatures and amazing flyers, and there are just too many of them. Michigan alone reportedly has a population of over 300,000 Canadian geese, and they can be quite a nuisance.,4570,7-350-79136_79608_83071_83072_83445—,00.html

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