Sticks and Rods

Today we’re looking at words for sticks, rods and related things in Celtic languages.

Plaster lath

Proto-Celtic *slattā = staff, stalk
Old Irish (Goídelc) slat = rod, lath, twig; ceremonial rod, staff; branch of a tree; scion, youth, stripling; yard (measure of length)
Irish (Gaeilge) slat [sˠl̪ˠɑt̪ˠ/sˠlˠat̪ˠ] = rod, slender stick, cane, switch, wand, yard, outskirts
slatach = rodlike, made of rods, wickered
slatáil = beat with a switch or birch
slataire = slip (of a person), sapling, tall supple youth
slatamáil = (act of) birching
slatfhear = slender supple man
slatóg = small rod, twig
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) slat [sl̪ˠahd] = long stick, rod, yard (measure), penis
slatag = small branch, twig
slat Ghàidhealach = Highland yard (8′)
slat-tomhais = standard, yardstick
slatan-draoidheachd = magic wand, fairy wand
Manx (Gaelg) slat(t) = batten, birch, cane, mace, rail, rod, slat, stem, switch, verge, wand
slat hendreil = lightning-rod
slat hows(h)e = criterion, yardstick
slat hummee = dipper, dipstick
slattag = perch, small rod, small stick, stripe, swizzle stick, twig
Proto-Brythonic *llaθ = rod, staff, stick, spear, beam, rafter, pole
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) lath = rod, staff, wand, stick
Welsh (Cymraeg) llath [ɬaːθ] = rod, staff, wand, stick, lath, spear, lance, spar, rafter, beam, offshoot, descendant
llath Gymreig = Welsh yard (about 40 inches)
llathaid = yard’s length, yardstick, length of rod, pole or perch, square yard
lathen = rod, wand, staff, stick, lath
llathennaf, llathennu = to measure, be critical (of)
hudlath = magic wand
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) lath = hook, hinge
Cornish (Kernewek) lath = stick, staff, yard
Old Breton lath = pole, rod
Middle Breton (Brezonec) lazh, laz, lah = pole, rod
Breton (Brezhoneg) lazh = slat (of a plough), board, batten

Etymology: unknown – possibly from a substrate language of northwestern Europe [source].

Words that may be related include lath (a thin, narrow strip, fastened to the rafters) in English, Latte (batten, lath, slat) in German, lat (slate, lath, ruler, yardstick) in Dutch, and lata (can, tin, plate) in Spanish [source].

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

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *