Words for lamentation and related things in Celtic languages:


Proto-Celtic *kiyeti = to fall, cry
Old Irish (Goídelc) caí = weeping, lamentation
ciïd [ˈkʲi.ɨðʲ] = to lament, weep
caínid [ˈkoːi̯nʲiðʲ] = to lament, mourn, keen, regret, deplore
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) caí = weeping, wailing, lamentation
ciïd = to cry, weep, lament, mourn
caínid = lament
Irish (Gaeilge) caí = lament, lamentation
caoin [kiːnʲ] = to keen, lament, cry, weep
caoineadh = to keen, lament, crying weeping, elegy
caoineachán = crying, mewling, lamentation
caointeach = plaintive, mournful
caointeachán = whimperer, crier
caointeoir = mourner, crier
caointeoireacht = lamenting, crying, lamentation
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) caoidh [kɤj] = lamenting, bewailing, lamentation, mourning, grieving
caoin [kɯːn̪ʲ] = to weep, wail, deplore, howl, regret
caoineach = mournful, mourning
caoineadh = weeping for, mourning, crying, lamenting, wailing
caoineag, caointeach = wailing women (foretells death)
caoineadh cù Chaluim = crocodile tears
Manx (Gaelg) coe = weep, mourn, weeping, woe
keayney = weep. weeping, cry, crying, greet, keening, lament, lamentation, mourn, mourning, wail, wailing, deplore
keaynoil = lamentable, mournful
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) kwyn, cwyn, cŵyn = complaint, greivance, lament
Welsh (Cymraeg) cwyn [kuːɨ̯n/kʊi̯n] = complaint, greivance, lament, grief; sympathy, commiseration
cwyno [ˈkʊɨ̯nɔ / ˈkʊi̯nɔ] = to complain, lament, bemoan, mourn, condole with, pity, take legal action
cwynfannu = to complain, lament, moan, groan, mourn for; lamentation, groan, moan, mourning
cwynfanllyd = moanful, querulous, grumbling, peevish
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cyny, kyny = to mourn, lament, weep
Cornish (Kernewek) kyni = to lament, moan, mourn, wail
kynvan = lament, lamentation, moan, mourning
Middle Breton (Brezonec) keinal, keinat, keiniñ = to complain
Breton (Brezoneg) keuziañ = to deplore, bemoan
keuziadenn = lament

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *gʷey- (to lament, complain) [source]. Words from the same root include ween (to weep, wail) in Scots, wenen (to cry, weep) in Dutch, weinen (to weep, cry) in German, and kveina (to wail, cry, lament) in Icelandic, via the Proto-Germanic *kwainōną (to lament) [source].

The English word keen (to mourn, utter with a loud wailing voice or wordless cry) was borrowed from the Irish caoin [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, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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