Words for baskets and related things in Celtic languages.


Proto-Celtic *kleibo = (?)
Old Irish (Goídelc) clíab = basket, breast, chest, ribcage
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) clíab = basket, skep, bee-hive, coracle, currach, breast, bosom
cliabach = slender-bodied
cliabaire = infant
cliabán = cradle, bird-trip, bird-cage
Irish (Gaeilge) cliabh [klʲiəvˠ/klʲiəw] = ribbed frame; body, chest, bosom; creel, pannier basket
cliabhadóir = creel-maker
cliabhadóireacht = creel-making
cliabhaire = basket-carrier, travelling poultry-dealer
cliabhán = cradle, wicker cage
cliabhrach = bodily frame, chest, thorax; (person of) large frame
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cliabh [kliəv] = basket, creel, pannier, ribcage, straightjacket
cliabhadh [kliəvəɣ] = (act of) putting into a creel
cliabhan = small creel, small hamper, wreckage, broken timbers
cliabhadair, cliabhair [kliəvədɪrʲ] = basket-maker
Manx (Gaelg) clean = pannier, potato creel, twig basket; cot, cradle
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) kauell, cawell = basket, pannier, cradle
cawelleit = basketful, hamperful, quiverful
Welsh (Cymraeg) cawell = basket, pannier; cradle; fish-trap, creel, cage; quiver; belly, breast
cawellaf, cawellu = to put into a hamper or basket; cradle
cawellaid = basketful, hamperful, quiverful
cawellig = little basket
cawellwr = basket-maker, maker of wicker fish-traps
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cawal, cauwal, cowal = hamper, basket, pannier
cawel gwanan beehive
Cornish (Kernewek) kowel = hamper, basket, cage
kowel gwenen beehive
kowel-gwari = playpen
kowella = to cage
Old Breton cauell, cauèl, queuel, qavell = cradle, trap, locker
Middle Breton (Brezonec) kavell, kavel, kevell, cauell = cradle, trap, locker
kavell-bez = tomb
kavellad = contents of a trap
kavellañ = to put in a basket
Breton (Brezhoneg) kavell = cradle, trap, locker
kavell-bez = tomb

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (to lean) [source]. Celtic words for fence, hurdle, lattice and related things come from the same root: more details, as do words for left and related things.

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root, via Gaulish and Latin, include claie (wicker rack, trellis, hurdle) in French and cheda (wattled laterals at the base of a traditional cart) in Galician [source].

Words from the same PIE root include client, climate, clinic, incline and lean in English, leunen (to lean) in Dutch, lehnen (to lean) in German, chinàre (to bend) in Italian, and clemente (lenient) in Spanish [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) ces = basket
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) ces = basket, hamper, pannier, bee-hive, skep, causeway of hurdles
Irish (Gaeilge) cis [cɪʃ] = wicker container, basket, crate, plaited or crossed twigs as support for causeway
ciseach = wattled causeway, improved path, footbridge, over soft ground or drain, hamper
ciseachán = breadbasket, stomach
ciseán = (wicker) basket
ciseadóir = wicker-worker, basket-maker
ciseadóireacht = wicker-work, basketry
ciseog = shallow basket (for potatoes, etc)
cispheil = basketball
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cis [kʲiʃ] = (large) woven/wicker basket, wickerwork panel, hurdle
ciseach [kʲiʃəx] = wickerwork path/bridge
ciseag, cisean, ciosan = small woven basket or creel, kishie
cisean [kliəvədɪrʲ] = basket-maker
Manx (Gaelg) kishan = skep
kishan pabyr = waste paper basket
kishan shellan = hive

Etymology: from Old Norse kista (chest, box), from Latin cista (trunk, chest, casket), from Ancient Greek κίστη (kístē – box, chest, casket), from Proto-Indo-European *kisteh₂ (woven container) [source].

Words from the same roots include chest in English, kist (chest, box, trunk, coffer) in Scots, Kiste (box, crate, case, chest) in German, ciste (chest, coffer, treasure, fund) in French, cesta (basket, hamper) in Spanish [source].

Irish (Gaeilge) bascaed = basket
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) basgaid [basgɪdʲ] = basket
basgaid-arain = breadbasket
basgaid-bidhe = hamper
basgaid-sgudail = wastebasket
ball-basgaid = basketball
Manx (Gaelg) basca(i)d, baskad, bastag = pannier, potato creel, twig basket; cot, cradle
bastag arran = breadbasket
bastageyr = basket maker
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) basged, bascet, basced = basket, basketful
basgedeit = basketful, hamperful
Welsh (Cymraeg) basgeg = basket, basketful
basgedaf, basgedu = to place in a basket, to make baskets
basged(i)aid = basketful, hamperful
basgedwaith = basketry, basketwork, wickerwork
basgedwr, basgedydd = basket-maker
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) basced = basket
Cornish (Kernewek) basket = basket

Etymology: from Middle English basket, from Anglo-Norman bascat (basket), possibly from Late Latin bascauda (a woven mat or vessel to hold basketwork), from Proto-Celtic *baskis (bundle, load), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰask- (bundle), or non-Indo-European source.

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include bâche (tarpaulin, canvas sheet, cover) in French, vascullo (broom, bundle of straw) in Galician, basket in English, فَشْقَار (fašqār – a heap of sheaves) in Arabic [source].

Other words from the PIE root *bʰask- include fascis (bundle, burden, load, high office) in Latin, and possibly bast (fibre made from certain plants used for matting and cord) in English, bast (bast, raffia) in Danish, bast (inner bark, velvet, skin, hide) in Dutch, and bashkë (together, simultaneously) in Albanian [source].

There are more details on the Burdensome Loads Celtiadur post, and the Celtic Pathways Baskets episode.

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, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, 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 *