Words for strawberries and related words, in Celtic languages.


Proto-Celtic *subhī = strawberries
Old Irish (Goídelc) sub = strawberry
sub craéb = raspberry
Irish (Gaeilge) [sˠuː] = (red) berry
sú craobh = raspberry
sú talún = strawberry
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sùbh [suː] = berry, soft fruit
sùbh-craobh = raspberry
sùbh-craobh ruiteach = salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
sùbh-làir fiadhain = wild / Alpine strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
sùbh nam ban-sìthe = stone bramble (Rubus saxatilis)
sùbh-thalmhainn = strawberry
Manx (Gaelg) soo [suː] = berry
soo crouw = raspberry
soo thallooin = strawberry
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) yssyui / syui / syvi = strawberries
Welsh (Cymraeg) syfi(en) [ˈsəvi] = (wild) strawberries
syfi coch/gwyllt/bach = wild strawberries
syfi gardd = cultivated strawberries)
syfïa = to gather (wild) strawberries
Old Cornish syvyen = strawberry
Cornish (Kernewek) sevi(en) = strawberries
Old Breton s(u)iuy = strawberries
Middle Breton siuy = strawberries
Breton (Brezhoneg) sivi(enn) = strawberries
sivia = to pick strawberries
sivi-garzh = wild strawberries

Etmology: possibly from a non-Indo-European substrate [source]

Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ymevvs / mefys / mefvs / mevys = strawberries
Welsh (Cymraeg) mefus(en) [ˈmɛvɨ̞s / ˈmeːvɪs] = strawberries
mefus y goedwig / mefus y coed = wild strawberries

Etmology: from the Vulgar Latin majusa (“mayberry”), or from the Basque mart (blackberry, bramble), or from the Gaulish *majoþa [source]

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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)

One thought on “Strawberries

  1. The strawberries we grow in Michigan look and taste as good as your picture, Simon. (Maybe, better. Want to start an international, multi-lingual strawberry-eating contest?)

    So, here are some facts I found about our Michigan strawberries:

    Michigan grows strawberries for both fresh and processed uses. In 2009, Michigan produced 43,000 tons of fresh strawberries and 3,000 tons of processed strawberries, generating $6.6 million. Most fresh Michigan strawberries are picked by consumers at “you-pick” operations around the state.

    Michigan’s strawberry season starts in early June and can extend into mid July. Michigan strawberries are largely produced in Berrien, Leelanau and Van Buren counties. This year, though, the strawberry crop seems to be coming in a few weeks late, but everything seems to be going well otherwise.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *