Sweet and Gentle

Words for dear, gentle, sweet and related things in Celtic languages.

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Proto-Celtic *koimos = dear, nice
Gaulish Coemo = name
Old Irish (Goídelc) cáem [koːi̯ṽ] = beloved, dear, fair, lovely, friend, noble
caíme = beauty, loveliness, charity, kindliness
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) cáem, cáomh = dear, precious, beloved, belonging to the family; fair, beautiful, lovely
cáemach = a noble
cáemaid = treats kindly, is gracious towards, cherishes
cáemaigid = to make smooth
cáemdae = fair, beautiful
cáemthach = friend, companion; company, companionship
Irish (Gaeilge) caomh [keːvˠ/kiːvˠ/kiːw] = dear one, companion, gentle, noble, person, dear, mild, pleasant, lovely, smooth
caomhantas = conservation, preservation
caoimhe = gentleness, mildness, sweetness, loveliness, smoothness
caomhach = attendant, protective
caomhnaí = companion
caoimhnaigh to cherish, preserve, conserve, protect
caomhnóir = guardian, protector, patron
caomhnú = preservation, conservation, protection
macaomh = young person, youth, boy, lad, cub (scout)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) caomh [kɯːv] = kind, gentle, tender, beloved; kindness, gentleness, friend, beloved, object
caomhnadh [kɯ̃ːvnəɣ] = saving, conservation, economising, reserving, booking, reservation, sparing
caomhnachas [kɯ͂vnəxəs] = economy, frugality
caomhail [kɯːval] = friendly, gentle, kind
caomhan [kɯːvan] = kind/mild-mannered person, nobleman
caomhag [kɯːvag] = affectionate/gentle woman, lass(ie)
caomhalachd [kɯːvəl̪ˠəxg] = kindness
caomhradh [kɯ̃ːvra] = euphemism
caomh-chompanach = bosom friend/pal
Proto-Brythonic *kʉβ̃ = ?
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ku, cu, cû = dear, beloved
kideb, kudeb = fondness, affection, dearness
Welsh (Cymraeg) cu [kɨː/kiː] = dear, beloved, amiable, pleasant, precious, beautiful; dear one, precious thing
cuaidd = loving, affectionate, precious
cudeb, cudab = fondness, affection, dearness
cudeg = fair and amiable
cuder = fondness, affection
mamgu = grandmother
tadcu = grandfather
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cuf, cûf = dear, amiable, beloved, loving
cuef = dear, kindly
Cornish (Kernewek) kuv = affectionate, amiable, amicable, dear, kind, kindly, pleasant; beloved, darling
kuv kolon = sweetheart
kuvder = kindness
Old Breton cum = bright, brilliant, light, candle
Middle Breton (Brezonec) cuff, cûn, cuñ, kunv = affable, soft, sweet, gentle, mild
cuffhat, cuñhaat, kuñvaat = to become affable
cuffhadur, cuñhadur, kuñvadur = affability, moral sweetness
cuffheat, kuneet, kuñvaet = softened, soothed
Breton (Brezhoneg) kuñv [ˈkỹː] = benign, mild
kuñvded = mildness
tad-kuñv = great grandfather
mab-kuñv = great grandson
moereb-kuñv = great aunt

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology uncertain [source].

The name Kevin comes from the Irish name Caoimhín [ˈkiːvʲiːnʲ] from the Middle Irish Caoimhghin [ˈkəiṽʲʝiːnʲ] from the Old Irish Cóemgein [ˈkoiṽʲɣʲinʲ], (also written Cáemgein/Cǽimgen), from cáem (beloved, dear) and gein (birth). Variants include Kevan, from the Irish diminutive version Caoimheán, and Caoimhe (anglicised as Keeva or Kweeva), a feminie version [source].

Versions of Kevin in other Celtic languages include Caomhan in Scottish Gaelic, Keveen in Manx, and Cefin in Welsh.

Proto-Celtic *kanis/*kani- = good, nice
Old Irish (Goídelc) caín [ˈkaːi̯nʲ] = fine, good, fair, beautiful, lovely
caíngním [ˈkaːi̯nʲɣʲnʲiːṽ] = good deed
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) caín = fine, good, fair, beautiful, soft, smooth, clement
Irish (Gaeilge) caoin [kiːnʲ] = smooth, delicate, gentle, refined
caoinbhéas = gentle, decent, habit
caoinbhéasach = gentle-mannered, decent
caoindéanta = fine, delicate (feature/figure)
caoine = smoothness, gentleness
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) caoin [kɯːn̪ʲ] = kind, mild, pleasant gentle, tender, delightful; dry, seasoned (hay)
caoin-bheusach = refined
feur-caoin = hay
Manx (Gaelg) keain = sweet-tempered, tender (memory)
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cein, kein = fine, fair, beautiful; the first and best liquor brought to the hall
Welsh (Cymraeg) cain [kai̯n] = fine, fair, beautiful, bright, excellent, refined
cain wybodau, celfau cain = belles lettres, fine arts
Middle Breton (Brezonec) qan, qen, quen = beautiful, brilliant
Breton (Brezhoneg) ken = beautiful, brilliant

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: unknown, possibly from a non-Proto-Indo-European language [source]

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, 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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