Words for nine and related things in Celtic languages:


Proto-Celtic *nowan = nine
*naumetos = ninth
Gaulish *nau = nine
nametos = ninth
Old Irish (Goídelc) noí [n͈oːi̯] = nine
nómad = ninth
nónbor = nine people
noínden = nine days
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) noí, noi = nine
nómad, nomad = ninth
nónbor = nine people
noínden = nine days
noíchtige = a period of 29 days
nócha, nocha, nochat = ninety
Irish (Gaeilge) naoi [n̪ˠiː/n̪ˠɰiː] = nine
(an) naoú = ninth
naonúr = nine people
naoi déag = nineteen
nócha = ninety
naoichodach = ninefold, having nine parts
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) naoi(dh) [n̪ˠɯj] = nine
naodh [n̪ˠɯːɣ] = nine
naoitheamh [n̪ˠɤjəv] (9ᵐʰ) = ninth (9ᵗʰ)
naoinear [n̪ˠɯːn̪ʲər] = nine (people)
naoi deug = nineteen
naochad [n̪ˠɯːxəd] = ninety
naoidh-fillte = nonuple, ninefold, nine-ply
Manx (Gaelg) nuy [nɛi/niː] = nine
(yn) nuyoo = (the) ninth
nuy jeig = nineteen
nuy-cheayrtyn, nuy-filley = ninefold
nuy-uillinagh = nonagonal, nonagon
Proto-Brythonic *naw [n͈oːi̯] = nine
*nọβ̃ed = ninth
Old Welsh naw = nine
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) nav, nau, naw = nine
navuet, nauuet, nawued, nawuet = ninth
naw deg, naw-deg = ninety
nawkan, naw cant, nawcant = nine hundred, many, numerous
naw ugein(t) = 180
nawbann, nowban = (having) nine syllables (in Welsh poetry)
nawwell, nawell = nine times better (than), much better
naun, nawn, naon = the ninth hour of the day
naw nyn, nawnyn = nine men
Welsh (Cymraeg) naw [naːu̯/nau̯] = nine
nawfed [ˈnau̯vɛd/ˈnau̯vad] (9fed) = ninth, one of nine, nones (in Roman calendar)
deunaw = eighteen (two nines)
naw deg = ninety
nawcant = nine hundred, many, numerous
nawban, naw ban = (having) nine syllables (in Welsh poetry)
nawell = nine times better (than), much better
nawn = the ninth hour of the day (approx. 3pm) midday, nooon, afternoon
nawnbryd = evening meal, dinner, supper
nawnyn, naw nyn = nine men
nawplyg = ninefold
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) naw = nine
nawnzac, nawntek, nownsec, nowndzhak = nineteen
naiv cans = nine hundred
Cornish (Kernewek) naw = nine
nawves = ninth
nownsek = nineteen
nowsegves = nineteenth
Old Breton nau = nine
Middle Breton (Brezonec) nau, nao, naou, naff, nauë, naü = nine
navet = ninth
nauntec, nantec, nandec = nineteen
naontecvet, nandecvèd, naontekved, naoñteget = nineteenth
nao ugent = 180
Breton (Brezhoneg) nav [ˈnaw] = nine
navet = ninth
naontek = nineteen

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *h₁néwn̥ (nine) and *h₁newn̥nós (ninth) [source].

English words from the same roots include nine, and words beginning with ennea-, such as enneagon (a 9-sided polygon) and enneastyle (having 9 columns) [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, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

2 thoughts on “Nine

  1. No, Simon, the two Manx words you quote definitely don’t mean ‘quadruple’. Even the old Manxies were not mathematically challenged to that extent!

  2. ‘nawn’ in Welsh is a borrowing from Latin ‘nōna (hōra)’ and is therefore not related (directly) to the other Welsh nouns listed (as in the others are derived organically in Welsh as opposed to being borrowings).

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