Stony Rocks

Words for rocks and stones in Celtic languages.

A view from Inis Mór

Proto-Celtic *klukā, *kluggā = stone, rock
*klukaros = pile of stones
Old Irish (Goídelc) cloch [klox] = stone, rock, precious stone, gem, bead (in a rosary), something built of stone, castle, fortress, stronghold
Irish (Gaeilge) cloch [klˠɔx, klˠʌx] = rock, large stone
clochach = stony, rocky
clochaid = stone, covered with stones
clochamail = stony, unyielding
clochán = paved road, causeway
clochar = stony place
clochda = made of stony, stony
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) clach [kl̪ˠax] = rock, stone, testicle, ball
clach-stéidhe = foundation stone
clach an teinntein = hearthstone
clach-uaighe = gravestone, headstone
clach-mheallain = hail(stone)
clach-mhìle = milestone
Manx (Gaelg) clagh [klaːx] = stone, testicle, stone monument
clagh eayil = limestone
clagh eayl = kidney stone
clagh gheayil = coal
clagh gheinnee = sandstone
clagh hayrn = magnet, magnetite, lodestone
Proto-Brythonic *klog = stone, rock
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) clok, cloc, clog = stone, rock
Welsh (Cymraeg) clog [kloːɡ] = rock, cliff, precipice; skull
clegyr, clegr = rocks, stones, rock, crag, cairn, stony place
clogfaen = boulder, large stone, rock
clogfryn = cliff, steep rock, precipice
clogyr = rock, crag
clogwrn = cliff, rock, tump, knoll
clogwyn = cliff, precipice, crag, boulder
Cornish (Kernewek) clog = stone, rock
Breton (Brezhoneg) kleger = rock, rocky

Etymology: unknown [source].

Proto-Celtic *karrikā, *karrikī = stone, rock
Old Irish (Goídelc) carrac = rock
Irish (Gaeilge) carraig [ˈkɑɾˠɪɟ, ˈkaːɾˠɪɟ, ˈkaɾˠəc] = rock
carraigeach = rocky
carraigeolaí = petrologist
carraigeolaíocht = petrology
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) carraig [kar̪ˠɪɡʲ] = rock, crag, cliff, pinnacle, hard mass
Manx (Gaelg) carrick = cliff, crag, rock in the sea, fortress
Proto-Brythonic *karreg = stone, rock
Old Welsh carrecc, cerricc = stone
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) carrec, cerric, karreg = stone
Welsh (Cymraeg) carreg [ˈkarɛɡ/ˈkaraɡ] = stone; gall-stone; (fruit) pip; testicle
carreg (yr) aelwyd = hearthstone
carreg a thwll = gibberish, worthless thing (“stone with a hole”)
carreg fedd/bedd = gravestone
carreg (y) filltir = milestone
carreg sarn = stepping-stone, causeway
carreg sylfaen foundation-stone
carreg werthfawr = precious stone
Cornish (Kernewek) karrek = rock
Breton (Brezhoneg) karreg = rock, reef, shell
karregoniel = petrographic
karregoniezh = petrography
karregoniour = petrograph

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *kh₂er- (hard) [source].

Proto-Celtic *maginos = stone, place
Old Irish (Goídelc) magan, maigen = a piece of open land, a spot, home, a place belonging to (someone)
Irish (Gaeilge) maighean = place, steading
Proto-Brythonic *maɣɨn = stone
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) maen, main, mein, mayn = stone
Welsh (Cymraeg) maen [maːɨ̯n/mai̯n] = stone (with a particular use), griddle stone, bakestone, griddle, precious stone
maenaf, maenu = to stone, pelt with stones, petrify
maenaidd = stony, like stone, full of stones
maenwaith = stonework, masonry
calchfaen, conglfaen = limestone
gwenithfaen, ithfaen = granite
llosgfaen = brimstone, sulphur
sylfaen = foundation, base, basis
tywodfaen = sandstone
Cornish (Kernewek) men = stone
Old Breton main = stone
Middle Breton main, maen, men = stone
Breton (Brezhoneg) maen = stone

Etymology: possibly related to the Proto-Celtic word *magos (plain, field), from the Proto-Indo-European *meǵh₂- (big, great) [source].

Proto-Celtic *ɸlikkā = (flat) stone
Old Irish (Goídelc) lecc = plate, stone, flat slab or rock
Irish (Gaeilge) leac [l̠ʲak, l̠ʲæk] = flat stone or rock, flagstone, slab, lid
leacach = area of flat rocks or flagstones; strewn with flat stones, flagged, stony
leacán = small flat stone, slab, tile
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) leac [l̪ʲɛxg] = flagstone, slab; tile; cheek; callus
leacag = small slab, tile
leacan = small slab, flagstone
Manx (Gaelg) leac = slab, sheet, flagstone, headstone, plaque, monolith, slate
leacan = tile
Proto-Brythonic *llex = (flat) stone
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llech, lec = slate, slab of stone
Welsh (Cymraeg) llech [ɬeːχ] = slate, bakestone, griddle, slab of stone, paving stone, gravestone, rock, boulder, cliff
cromllech = cromlech, dolmen
llechfaen = slate, slab, flag, tablet, bakestone, griddle
priddlech = tile, brick
Cornish (Kernewek) legh = slates
Breton (Brezhoneg) lec’h = megalith. dolmen, flat rock

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *pl̥keh₂ (flat surface), from *pleh₂- (flat), which is also the root of English words such as floor, palm, piano, plain, plan and plane [source].

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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