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

Big forehead!

Old Irish (Goídelc) étan = brow, forehead
Irish (Gaeilge) éadan [ˈeːd̪ˠənˠ] = front, face, forehead, flat surface, facet, end
éadanán = headstall
éadanchlár = fascia
in éadan = against, opposed to
as éadan = one by one, in (rapid) succession, indiscriminately
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) aodann [ɯːdən̪ˠ] = face, front, dial
aodannan = little face, mask, frontispiece
aodann-clò = typeface
aodann-fuadain = mask
dà-aodannach = two-faced, double-skinned (in architecture)
Manx (Gaelg) eddin = apron (of a dam), rockface, countenance, dial, disc, facade, face, facet, facial, fascia, front, frontage
far-eddin = mask
eddin harroo = sour-faced

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *h₂ent- (forehead) [source].

Words from the same root include end, answer and antimony in English, and ante (before, earlier, instead of) in Italian [source].

Proto-Celtic *talu = front, forehead
Gaulish *talu = ?
Celtiberian talukokum = ?
Old Irish (Goídelc) tul, taul, tel, til = protruberance, projecting part, swelling, boss of a shield
Irish (Gaeilge) tul = protuberance, prominence, front, forehead
tulach = low hill, hillock, mound
tulán = protuberance, mound, knoll, hummock
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) tul [tul̪ˠ] = face
Manx (Gaelg) tool = ?
tool-vuilley = forehand stroke
Proto-Brythonic *tal
Old Welsh tal = end
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) tal = end
Welsh (Cymraeg) tâl [taːl] = end (of an object), gable end, extremity, top, side, edge, rampart, front, face (of shield), forehead, brow, head
tâl bainc, talbainc = end of bench, place of honour, best kind, first class
ar dâl = at the top, end, by the side, near
talaith = state, province, district, area, principality
talar = headland (of ploughed field), boundary
talaraf, talaru = to reach the headland, set a boundary
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) tal = the front, forehead, end, top
Cornish (Kernewek) tal = brow, forehead, front, temple
talar = headland
talgamma = to frown
plegya tal = to frown, knit one’s brows
Middle Breton (Brezonec) tal = forehead
taleg = sb with a big forehead
Breton (Brezhoneg) tal = face, forehead

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *telh₂- (ground, bottom), or from *teHlu- [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

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