Magic and Spells

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


Proto-Celtic *brixtā = spell, magical formula, incantation
Celtiberian *bruxtia
Gaulish brixtia
Old Irish (Goídelc) bricht = charm, spell, incantation
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) bricht = incanation, charm, magic spell
Irish (Gaeilge) briocht = charm, spell, amulet
briocht sí = fairy charm
briocht a chanadh = to chant a spell
briocht draíochta = magic spell
Proto-Brythonic *briθ [ˈbriːθ] = charm, incantation
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) lleturith, lledrith, ledryth = magic, spell, charm, enchantment
llethrithawc, lledrithyawc, lleturithawc = magic, magical, enchanted
Welsh (Cymraeg) lledrith, lledfrith = magic, spell, charm, enchantment; apparition, spectre, phantom; illusion, delusion, fantasy, imagination
lledrithaid = pretence, dissembling, deception
lledrithiaf, lledrithio = to counterfeit, fake, pretend, simulate
lledrithiog = magic, magical, enchanted
Old Breton brith = charm, incantation (?)

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰerHǵ- (enlighten). Words that probably come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via the Celtiberian *bruxtia, include bruja (witch, crone, hag, owl) in Spanish, bruxa (witch, hex) in Galician, bruxa (witch) in Portuguese, and bruixa (witch) in Catalan [source].

Irish (Gaeilge) dríocht [ˈd̪ˠɾˠihaxt̪ˠə] = druidic art, druidism, witchcraft, magic, charm, enchantment
draíochtach = magical, bewitching, entrancing
draíochtúil = magic, magical
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) draoidheachd [drɯjəxg] = magic, socery, druidism
eun-draoidheachd = augury
slat-draoidheachd = magic wand/td>
Manx (Gaelg) druaight = charm, druid
druaightagh = charmer, charming, druid, magician, occult
druaightys = charming, druid, druidism, magic
fo druaight = charmed
Welsh (Cymraeg) derwyddiaeth [dɛrˈwəðjaɨ̯θ/dɛrˈwəðjai̯θ] = druidism, the druid cult
Cornish (Kerneweg) drewydhieth = druidism
Breton (Brezhoneg) drouizelezh / drouiziezh = druidism

Etymology: these words come from the same roots as words for druid.

Proto-Celtic *soitos. *soyto- = magic
Proto-Brythonic *hʉd = magic, charm
hʉdol = charming, illusory
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) hut, hud = magic, wizardry, sorcery, witchcraft
hûdadwy, hydadwy = persuasive, enticing, seducible
Welsh (Cymraeg) hud [hɨːd/hiːd] = magic, wizardry, sorcery, witchcraft, spell, enchantment, charm, fascination, allurement, persuasion
hudadwy = persuasive, enticing, seducible
hudaf, hudo = to fashion or produce by magic, conjure, cast a spell upon, enchant, charm, entice, allure, persuade, seduce, beguile
hudaidd = alluring, charming, seductive
hudol = charming, enchanting, enticing, alluring, illusory, deceptive, deceitful
Old Cornish hudol = charming, illusory
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) huder = a deceiver, hypocritic, juggler, sorcerer
hudol = sorcerer
Cornish (Kerneweg) hus = charm, enchantment, illusion, magic, sorcery, spell
husa = to charm, create an illusion, enchant
Middle Breton (Brezonec) hud = magic
hudek, hudel = magic, magical
hudiñ = to charm, enchant, bewitch, delight
hudour = magician, wizard
hudouriezh = magic
Breton (Brezhoneg) hud = magic
hudek = magic, magical
hudour = magician, wizard

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-Etymology *sh₂oy-tó-s (magic), from *sh₂ey (to bind, fetter) [source]. Words from the same PIE roots include seiður (magic, witchcraft, sorcery) in Icelandic, sejd (sorcery, witchcraft, magic potion) in Swedish, and seid (magic) in Norwegian [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 *