Words for hillsides, cliffs and related words in Celtic languages.

Snowdonia in the sun

Proto-Celtic *altos = height, cliff
Old Irish (Goídelc) alt, allt = height, cliff, valley, abyss
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) als = hillock
Irish (Gaeilge) ailt = steep-sided glen, ravine, height, cliff
ailteán = small ravine
alt = steep-sided ravine, hillock
altach = undulating (road), wavy (hair)
altán = streamlet, ravine, hillock
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) alt [al̪ˠd] = rugged/steep bank, precipice
allt [aul̪ˠd] = brook, burn, stream, brook, rill, river with precipitous banks
alltan = brook, little stream, streamlet
Manx (Gaelg) alt = mountain stream, glen in mountains, high place, altitude, alto
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) alt, allt = hill(side)
Welsh (Cymraeg) allt [aːɬt / aɬt] = hill(side), (steep) gradient or slope, steep road or path, (steep) ascent, cliff, woods, wooded slope
allt (o) goed = wood, grove
allt (y) môr, allt fôr = sea-cliff
yr allt bren = staircase, facet (“the wooden hill”)
Old Cornish als = cliff
Cornish (Kernewek) als [ɒlz / ælz] = cliff
Middle Breton a(o)ut = coast, shore, bank
Breton (Brezhoneg) aod = coast, shore
aod bili = pebble beach
aod vev = foreshore

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *h₂eltós, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂el- (to grow, nourish) [source].

English words such as altitude, adult and old come from the same PIE root, as do alt (old, ancient, elderly) in German, oud (old) in Dutch, haut (high, tall) in French and alto (high, tall, deep, loud) in Italian [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Slieve League / Sliabh Liag

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis

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