Bright Lights

Words for bright, light and related things in Celtic languages.

Penmon sunset.

Proto-Celtic *ɸlenstus, *flenstu- = light
Old Irish (Goídelc) solus [ˈsolus] = bright, clear, light
lés [l͈ʲeːs] = light, radiance, daylight, illumination (of the mind)
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) solus = (adj) bright, clear, light-giving, happy, prosperous; (noun) light, clarity, intelligibility
solusta = bright, shining
solustacht = brightness, radiance
lés = light, radiance, daylight, flush, blush
Irish (Gaeilge) solas [ˈsˠɔl̪ˠəsˠ] = light, brightness, illumination, lamp, flame, enlightenment, insight, revelation, disclosure, vision, self-interest, limelight
solasbhliain = light-year
solasmhaire = brightness, luminousness, clarity, lucidity
solasmhar = bright, luminous, clear, lucid
léas = ray of light, light, radiane; weal, welt, red spot, blister
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) solas [sɔl̪ˠəs] = light, phases (of the moon, etc)
solasach = luminous, shining
solasta = luminous, shining
solasachadh [sɔl̪ˠəsɪç] = lighting, illuminating
leòs = light, ray, torch, blister, blush
Manx (Gaelg) sollys = bright, brilliant, clear, resplendent, shining, shiny, transparent, brightness, lamp, light
sollysagh = luminous
soilsheanagh = beaming, brilliant, glistening, glowing, luminous, lustrous, radiant, shiny, splendid, vivid
Proto-Brythonic *gwoluɣʉ = light
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) golau = light, illumination, brightness, clearness, enlightment
Welsh (Cymraeg) golau [ˈɡɔlaɨ̯/ˈɡoːlai̯] = light, illumination, brightness, clearness, enlightment
golau dydd = daylight
golau lleuad= moonlight
golau tân = fire light
goleuad = light, illumination, enlightenment
goleuaf, goleuo, golau = to light(en), illuminate, set light to, kindle, set fire to, enlighten, explain
goleudy = lighthouse
goleuddal = candlestick, sconce, chandelier
Old Cornish golou = light
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) golow = light
golowa, gylywa, gouloua, gylywi = to enlighten, give light, illuminate, shine
golowas = an enlightening, illumination, lightning
golowder = light, brightness
golowlester = a light-vessel, lamp
Cornish (Kernewek) golow = glow, light, luminous
Golowan = Misummer
golowboyntya = to hightlight
golowbren = lamp-post
golowhe = to glow, illuminate, light up, lighten
golowi = to enlighten, glow, illuminate, light up, lighten, shine
golowji = lighthouse
golowyans = enlightenment, lighting
golowyn (X) (X-)ray
golowys = lit
Middle Breton (Brezonec) gouloù, goulou = bright, brilliant, light, candle
Breton (Brezhoneg) gouloù = light, current, fire

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology (Goidelic languages): from Old Irish so- (very) and lés (light, radiance, daylight, illumination). so- come s from Proto-Celtic *su- (good, well), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁su- (good). lés comes from the Proto-Celtic ɸlenstus (light), possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (bright, to shine, to see) [source].

Etymology: (Brythonic languages): from the Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (bright, to shine, to see) [source].

From the same PIE root we get the Irish word luchair (glittering, resplendent), llug (light, radiance, brightness) and llygad (eye) in Welsh, lagas (eye) in Cornish and lagad (eye) in Breton [source],

English words from the PIE root *lewk- include light, lucid, luminous, Lucifer, luna and lynx [source].

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

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