Words for circle, ring and related words in Celtic languages.

There are three words for circle in Proto-Celtic: *kerk-injo-, *kerkinn- and *kuro-. They don’t appear to have descendents in modern Celtic languages.

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Proto-Celtic *ānniyos = ring
Old Irish (Goídelc) áinne = ring
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) áinne, ánne = ring, circuit, anusm posterior
Irish (Gaeilge) fáinne [ˈfˠɑːɲə/ˈfˠæːn̠ʲə] = ring, circle, ringlet, curl, halo
fáinneach = annular, ring-like, ringed, ringleted, whorled, adorned, beautiful
fáinneadóir = ring-maker, dealer in rings
fáinneáil = (act of) circling, fluttering
fáinneán -= ampitheatre, circus
fáinneog = ringlet, curl
fáinneoir = person who rings animals
fáinnigh = to ring, encircle, dawn
fáinniú = encirclement, dawning
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) fàinne [faːn̪ʲə] = ring, ringlet, circle
fàinneach [faːn̪ʲəx] = pertaining to or like a ring, ringed
fàinneachadh [faːn̪ʲəxəɣ] = (act of) curling, ringing
fàinneag [faːn̪ʲag] = small ring, ringlet
Manx (Gaelg) fainey = circle, puck, whorl, wreathe, ring
fainnit = ringed

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eh₂no- (ring). Cognate with the Latin ānus (ring, anus), and anus in English, French, Catalan and Romanian [source].

The English word phon(e)y (fraudulent, fake) possibly comes from the old slang word fawney (a gilt brass ring used by swindlers; a finger ring), from the Irish fáinne (ring) [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) circul = circle, orbit, zone, hoop
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) circul = circle, orbit, zone, hoop
Irish (Gaeilge) ciorcal [ˈkiɾˠkəlˠ] = circle
ciorcalach = circular, cyclic
ciorcalaigh = to encircle, circle
ciorclán = circular (letter)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cearcall [kʲɛrxgl̪ˠ] = circle, cycle, ring (circus, etc), hoop
cearclach = circular, cyclic(al)
Manx (Gaelg) kiarkyl = ring, circle, rim, coterie
kiarklagh = cyclic(al), rotund, circulatory
kiarkylagh = circular
daachiarkyl = bicycle
Proto-Brythonic *kɨrxl [aˈbɛːr] = circle, ring
Old Welsh circhl = circle, ring
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) kylch, kylc = circle, ring
Welsh (Cymraeg) cylch [kɨ̞lχ/kɪlχ] = circle, ring, compass, scope, range, circumference, environs, surroundsing, precints, zone, belt, hoop, social circle, orbit, revolution, period, cycle, halo
cylchai = halo
cylchaidd = circular, round(ish)
cylchig = circlet, small circle
cylch(i)ol = circular, orbital, surrounding, itinerant, periodic, cyclic
cylchu, cylch(i)af, cylcho = to hoop, rim (a wheel)
Cornish (Kernewek) kelgh, kylgh = circle, hoop, round, ring
kylghek = circular
kylghigow = hoop-la
kylghlavar = circumlocution
kylghvusur = perimeter
Middle Breton (Brezonec) kelc’h = circle, disc, halo
kelc’hdro = orbit
kelc’hennva = ampitheatre
kelc’hiad = circumference
kelc’hiek = circular
Breton (Brezhoneg) kelc’h = circle, halo
kelc’hiañ = to surround, define, figure out
kelc’hier = compass
kelc’htreiñ = to orbit
kelc’htro = orbit
kelc’htroel = orbital

Etymology: from the Latin circulus (circle), from circus (circle, ring, racecourse, circus), from the Ancient Greek κίρκος (kírkos – circle, ring) from the Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to bend, turn) [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), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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