Stable Enclosures

Words for stable, enclosure and related words in Celtic languages.


Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *kruw(y)os = enclosure
*krāfo- = stable, enclosure
Old Irish (Goídelc) cró, cróe, cróa = enclosure, socket, stall, sty, horse-shoe, encirclement
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) cró, cro = enclosure, fold, pen, sty, stall, hut, cell, prision, socket, box, container
Irish (Gaeilge) cró [kɾˠoː / kɾˠɔː] = eye, socket; bore; aperture; ring; enclosure, fold, pen; (small) outhouse; mean dwelling, hovel; hollow
cróicín = litte hut, hovel
cróitín = small (sheep) fold, small outhouse
cróbhuaile = enclosed milking-place
cró beithíoch = byre, cowshed
cró caorach = sheepfold, shieling
cró cearc = henhouse
cró coinín = rabbit hutch
cró madra = (dog) kennel
cró muc / muice = pigsty, piggery
cró sorcais = circus ring
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) crò [krɔː] = circle, surround; enclosure, fold, pen; fishing weir; eye (of needle), socket; hay ladder
crò-snàthaid = eye of a needle
crò-chearc = chicken coop
crò-mhuc = pigsty
crò-buntàta = enclosed potato patch
crò-chaorach = sheepfold
Manx (Gaelg) croa = enclosure, compound, enclave, coop, fold, ring, corral, pen, aperture, notch
croa cheyrragh = sheepcote
croa chonning = rabbit hutch
croa gheayil = (coal) bunker
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) creu, crau, kreu, craw = shed
Welsh (Cymraeg) crau / craw [kraɨ̯ / krai̯] = sty, hovel, pigsty; place of defence, stockade
crau = hole, eye, aperture, perforation
crewyn = pile, heap, rick, clamp, load
crowyn, crywyn, crewyn = shed where animals are kept, sty, coop, kennel, creel, basket; belly, paunch
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) crow = hovel, hut, sty
crow môh = pigsty
Cornish (Kernewek) krow = hut
krow deves = sheep-cot
krow mogh = pigsty
krow prenn = chalet
krow yer = chicken shed
Old Breton crou = pigsty
Middle Breton kraou = pigsty
Breton (Brezhoneg) krao = eye (of a needle)
krao an nadoz = eye of a needle
kraou = stable
kraou-deñved = sheep pen, sheepfold
kraou lapined = (rabbit) hutch
kraou-saout, kraou oc’hen = cowshed

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *krāwə- (to cover, heap). The English word roof comes from the same PIE root (via Proto-Germanic), as does the Dutch word roef (cabin (on a boat), coffin lid), and the French word rouf (deckhouse) [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) saball = barn
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) stábla = stable
saball = barn
Irish (Gaeilge) stábla = stable
stáblachán = large unadorned house
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) stàball [sdaːbəl̪ˠ]= stable
stàballach = of, or belonging to a stable, like a stable
sabhal [sa.əl̪ˠ] = barn, granary
Manx (Gaelg) stabyl = stable
soalt = barn, granary
Proto-Brythonic *ɨstavell = room
Old Welsh (Kembraec) stebíll = room
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) estauell, ystauell, ystavell = room
(e)stauellauc, ystauellawc = having a room, chambered, roomy
Welsh (Cymraeg) (y)stafell [(ə)sˈtavɛɬ] = room, building, hall, house, chamber, cave, ventricle, stable (?)
(y)stafellu = to occupy a room, place in a room, become stuck
ystafellaid = roomful
(y)stafellaidd = pertaining to, held in, or like, a room, chambered
ystafelles = chambermaid
(y)stafellog = having a room, chambered, roomy
(y)stafellty = cloister, close
(y)stafellydd, ystafellwr = bedroom attendant, chamberlain, eunuch
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) stevel, steuel = chamber, dining room
Cornish (Kernewek) stevel = room
stevel an klass = classroom
stevel an lys = courtroom
stevel-dhybri = dining room
stevel-wortos = waiting room
Middle Breton staul = room (?)

Etymology: from Middle English stable (stable) or from Anglo-Norman stable (a place for keeping animals), from Latin stab(u)la (dwellings, stables), from stabulum (dwelling, stable, hut, tavern), from stō (to stand, stay, remain) and‎ -bulum (instrumental suffix) [source].

The Brythonic words probably come directly from Vulgar Latin *(i)stabellum, from stabulum (dwelling, stable, hut, tavern) [source].

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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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