Words for Scotland and related things in Celtic languages.

Views from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Proto-Celtic *albiyū = luminous world, upper world, world; high mountain, alp; alpine pasture, Britain
Gaulish Albiorix = place name
Albiorica = place name
Old Irish (Goídelc) Albu [ˈalbu] = Scotland, Britain
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealgcausecause) Albu = Scotland, Britain
Albanach = an inhabitant of Albu, Scottish
Irish (Gaeilge) Alba [ˈalˠəbˠə] = Scotland (dated)
Albain [ˈaləbˠənʲ] = Scotland
Gaeilge na hAlban = Scottish Gaelic
Albainis = Scots (language)
Albanach = Scotsman, Scot, Scottish
Albain Nua = Nova Scotia
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) Alba [ˈal̪ˠabə] = Scotland
Albannach = Scot, Scotsman, Scottish
Albinish = Scots (language)
Gàidhlig (na hAlba) = Scottish Gaelic
Alba Nuadh = Nova Scotia
Manx (Gaelg) Nalbin, Albin, Albey = Scotland
Albinagh = Scots, Scotch, Scottish
Albinee = Scottish people
Albinish = Scots (language)
Gaelg Albinagh, Gaelg ny Halbey = Scottish Gaelic
(Yn) Albin Noa, Nalbin Noa = Nova Scotia
Proto-Brythonic *ėlβɨð [e̝lˈβɨːð] = world
Old Welsh elbid [ˈelvɨð] = (upper) world, earth, land, country, district
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) eluit, eluyt, eluyd = world. earth, land, country, district
eluyten, eluyden, elvydenn = earth, land, country, region
Albbu = Scotland
Albanyeit = Scot
Welsh (Cymraeg) elfydd = world. earth, land, country, district, neighbourhood; element
elfydden = earth, land, country, region
elfyddiaeth = chemistry
elfyddol  = material
(yr) Alban [ˈalban] = Scotland
Albanaidd = Scottish
Albaneg = Scots (language), Scottish Gaelic, Pictish
Albanes = Scottish woman or girl
Albanwr = Scot (m)
Alban Newydd = Nova Scotia
Cornish (Kernewek) Alban = Scotland, Scot (m)
albanek = Scottish
Albanes = Scot (f)
Alban Nowydh = Nova Scotia
Middle Breton (Brezonec) albaneg = Scots (language)
Breton (Brezhoneg) Albanad, albanat = Scottish
albaneg, albanek = Scots (language)

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *h₂elbʰós (white). Alban in Welsh and Cornish was borrowed from Irish or Scottish Gaelic [Source].

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include Albion (England – poetic) and Alps in English, Albiōn (Britain) in Gallo-Latin, Albānia (Caucasian Albania, Albania, Scotland) in Latin, and words for the Alps in many other languages [Source].

Words from the same PIE root include albino and elf in English, albus (white, clear, bright) in Latin, and alb (white, clean, pure) in Romanian [Source].

The country of Albania got its English name from the Byzantine Greek Ἀλβανία (Albanía), which referred to an ancient region and kingdom south of Caucasus mountains, east of Armenia and west of the Caspian Sea, also known as Caucasian Albania. The Greek name came from the Latin Albānus (Albania), which refers to Albania, Caucasian Albania or Scotland, and probably came from Proto-Celtic [Source].

Scotland in Breton is Bro Skos and Nova Scotia is (Bro-)Skos Nevez. Bro means country or region, and comes from the Proto-Brythonic *broɣ (country, region, territory), from the Proto-Celtic *mrogis (border, march, region, country, territory, province), from the PIE *morǵ- (frontier, border). Cognates in other Celtic languages include bro (region, country, land, border, limit) in Welsh, and bro (country, land) in Cornish [Source]. Skos was probably borrowed from the French Ecosse (Scotland).

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, 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 *