Hooks and Crooks

Today we’re looking at hooks, crooks and related words in Celtic languages.


Proto-Celtic *bakkos = hook, (curved) stick
Old Irish (Goídelc) bacc = angle, bill-hook, corner, hindrance, mattock
Irish (Gaeilge) bac = balk, hindrance, barrier, mattock, bend (in a river), (door) step
bacadh = to balk, hindrance
bacainn = barrier, obstruction, obstacle, blocking
bacainneach = barring, obstructing, blocking
bacán = hinge-hook, crook, peg
bacánach = crooke, hinged
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bac [baxg] = hindering, impeding, obstructing, restraining, restricting, hindrance
bacadh = to hinder, impede, obstruct, restain, restrict, ban
Manx (Gaelg) bac = balk, disability, disqualification, drawback, handicap, moratorium, objection, obstacle, pull back, snag, trap
Old Welsh bach = hook, grapple, mattock
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) bach = hook, grapple, mattock
Welsh (Cymraeg) bach [baːχ] = hook, grapple, mattock, hoe, fish hook, shepherd’s crook; hinge, pivot; nook, angle, corner, bend
bachiad = a hooking, turning, curving, winding, bending
bachog = hooked, barded, grabbing, grasping, greedy
bachogrwydd = hookedness, crookedness, incisiveness
bachol = hooking, grappling, grabbing, grasping, greedy
bachu = to hook, anchor, connect, attach, fasten
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) bah = hook, hinge
Cornish (Kernewek) bagh = hook
bagha = to trap
Old Breton bah = hook
Middle Breton (Brezonec) bach, bac’h = hook for uprooting potatoes or seaweed, big hook
bac’hig = little fang, hook, staple
Breton (Brezhoneg) bac’h = (fish) hook

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *bak- (peg, club) [source].

Words from the same PIE root include bachall (crook, crozier) in Irish, bagl (crook, crozier) in Welsh, pail in English, and possibly bok (side, flank, hip) in Czech, Polish and Slovak [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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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