Today we’re looking at the words for tin and related things in Celtic languages.

Tin Mines
Botallack tin mine in Cornwall

Proto-Celtic *stagnos = tin
Gaulish *stagnom = tin
Old Irish (Goídelc) stán [mʲeːnʲ] = tin, tin vessel
Irish (Gaeilge) stán = tin, tin vessel
stánach = tin-bearing, stannic
stánadóir = tinner, tinsmith
stánadóireacht = tin-work, (act of) tinkering
stánaigh = to tin, to coat with tin, to pack in tin(s)
stáncheárta = tinworks
stánphláta = tin-plate
stántáirgeach = tin-bearing
stánúil = tinny, stannous
feadóg stáin = tin whistle
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) staoin [sdɯːn̪ʲ] = tin, pewter
stàin [sdɯːn̪ʲ] = tin
stànadair = tinsmith, tinker
staoinseil = tinsel
fìdeag-staoin = tin whistle
muileann-staoin = tin mill
sgragall-staoine = tinfoil
Manx (Gaelg) stainney = tin, can, tin-plate
stainnagh = tin-bearing
stainnaghey = to tin-plate
stainneyder = tin-miner
stainnit = tin-plated
stainn-oshleyder, fosleyder stainney = tin-opener
feddan (stainney) = tin whistle, flageolot
gaaue stainney = tinner, tinsmith
Proto-Brythonic *staɨn = tin
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) stain, ystain, staen, ystaen = tin, pewter
Welsh (Cymraeg) ystaen, staen = tin, pewter
ystaenaid, staenaid = tinned, tin
ystaenwr, ystaeniwr = pewterer, tinsmith
Cornish (Kernewek) sten [stɛːn / steːn] = tin
stenek = tin ground, stannary
stenor = tinner
sten du = tin ore
poll sten = tin pit
Middle Breton sten, stean, staen = tin
Breton (Brezhoneg) staen = tin
staenañ = to tinplate
staenek = stannic (of or containing tin)
staenus = stannous (of or containing tin)

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: probably from the Proto-Indo-European *sth₂gʰ-nó-s (standing, firm), from *steh₂-gʰ- + *-nós, from *steh₂- (to stand) [source].

The Latin word stannum (an alloy of silver and lead; tin) was borrowed from the Gaulish *stagnom, and words for tin in Romance languages developed from this, including étain in French, stagno in Italian, and estaño in Spanish [source].

The scientific abbreviation for tin is Sn, from the Latin stannum. The old Latin name for tin was plumbum candidum (white lead) [source].

Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) tiona = tin (container, metal)
á tiona = tinned, from a tin
crogan-tiona = tin can/td>
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) tynn, tin, tinn = tin, tin plate
Welsh (Cymraeg) tun, tyn = tin (metal / container), tin plate, tin can
tunio, tuniaf = to tin, coat with tin, seal in a tin
tun tân = blower, metal plate placed before an open fire to increase the draught
tun te = tin used by workmen to carry leaf tea (and sugar) to work

Etymology: from the English tin, from the Middle English tin, tyn(e), tynne (tin), from the Old English tin (tin), from the Proto-Germanic *tiną (tin), probably from a pre-Indo-European language [source].

Words for tin in Germanic languages come from the same Proto-Germanic root, including tin in Dutch, Zinn in German, tenn in Swedish, and tinn in Norwegian, as do words for tin in some Slavic and Finno-Ugric languages [source].

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old Irish glossary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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