Ceilidh Companions

Words for companion, ceilidh and related things in Celtic languages.

Cèilidh at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
Ceilidh at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in the Isle of Skye / Cèilidh aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig san Eilean Sgitheanach

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *kēlyos = companion, servant
Primitive Irish ᚉᚓᚂᚔ (celi) = follower, devotee (genitive)
Old Irish (Goídelc) céile [ˈkʲeːlʲe] = client, companion, husband, liege, servant, spouse, subject, vassal
céilide [ˈkʲeːlʲiðʲe] = visit, visiting
coicéile = companion, comrade, friend, friendship
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) céile, ceile, céli = servant, bondsman, vassal, subject, fellow, companion, husband
céileachas = adultery
céilide = visit, act of visiting
coicéile, cocéle, coceli = vassal, bondsman, companion, fellow, friend
coicéilsine, cocéilsine, cocélsine = fellowship, clientship
Irish (Gaeilge) céile [ˈceːlʲə] = companion, spouse
céileachas = companionship, cohabitation, copulation
céilí = friend call, visit, social evening, Irish dancing session
céilíoch = person fond of social visits, sociable person
céilíocht = sociableness, companionableness
céiliúil = companionable
coigéile = mate, companion
coigéilsine = fellowship, companionship
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cèile [kʲeːlə] = fellow, partner, significant other, spouse, counterpart
cèile-còmhraige = opponent, antagonist
cèile-pòsta = married partner (husband or wife)
cèileach [kʲeːləx] = entertaining
cèileachadh [kʲeːləxəɣ] = participating/sharing in, twinning, partnering (of a city)
cèiliche [kʲeːlɪçə] = visitor
cèilidh [kʲeːlɪ] = ceilidh, visit, (act of) visiting
cèilidheach [kʲeːlɪjəx] = companionable, fond of company, sociable
Manx (Gaelg) keilley = match
dy cheilley = joined, together
e cheilley = fellow
ry-cheilley = en masse, together, with each other
kaylee = ceilidh
Proto-Brythonic *kuɨlð = servant, companion
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cilit, cilid, kilid, kilyd = servant, companion
Welsh (Cymraeg) cilydd [ˈkɪlɨ̞ð/ˈkiːlɪð] = fellow, companion, neighbour, enemy, other
cilyddol = reciprocal, mutual
at ei gilydd = together
gyda’i gilydd = together
ei gilydd = each other
o bryd i’w gilydd = from time to time
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cele = companion, fellow, one of two
Cornish (Kernewek) kila = companion
Old Breton kiled = friend
Middle Breton (Brezonec) kile = the other (one), friend
Breton (Brezhoneg) kile = associate, stooge, colleague, sidekick

Etymology: possibly the Proto-Celtic word originally meant ‘wayfarer’, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱey- (to settle, to be lying down) [source].

The English word ceilidh [ˈkeɪli] (an informal social gathering where traditional Irish or Scottish folk music is played, with dancing and storytelling; a ceilidh dance; to dance a ceilidh) was borrowed from Scottish Gaelic and/or from Irish [source]. Someone who attends a ceilidh is apparently a ceilidher [source].

The Welsh equivalent of a ceilidh is a twmpath, which also meanings hillock, knoll, mound, pile, gathering or assembly. It’s also a known as a twmpath dawns (folk-dance, barn dance, public dance) or noson lawen (“merry/joyful evening”). In Cornish a ceilidh is a troyll, which also means spiral or swirl, and in Breton they are known as fest-noz [source].

Irish (Gaeilge) comhar [kõːɾˠ] = combined work, mutual assistance, co-operation, partnership
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) coimheart [kɔ̃jəRʃd] = companion
Manx (Gaelg) commeeys = communion, connection, league, mess, participation, partnership, relations (between people)
Proto-Brythonic *kumpar = peer, fellow, spouse, partner, companion
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) kymar = peer, fellow, spouse, partner, companion
Welsh (Cymraeg) cymar [ˈkəmar] = equal, peer, companion, mate, fellow, spouse, consort
cymar bywyd = life partner
cymhares = female partner, wife, mate, companion, equal
cymharus = well matched, well paired, corresponding, matching, appropriate, fitting
cymheiriaeth = a coupling together, partnership
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cespar = spouse, married person, mate
Cornish (Kernewek) kespar / kespares = partner
kesplegadow = compatible

Etymology (Brythonic words): from Latin compār (fellow, partner, equal [person], spouse), from con- (used to indicate being or bringing together), from cum (with), and pār (even, equal, like; companion, comrade, mate, spouse) [source]. The Goidelic words may come from different roots.

Words from the same roots include compare, pair, par (equal value) and peer in English, paar (pair, couple, some) in Dutch, and péire (pair) in Irish [source].

Proto-Brythonic *ko-u̯ekt- = companion, comrade, friend (?)
*ko-u̯ektii̯ŏ- = company, band or gathering of companions, troop, host, retinue
Old Welsh (Kembraec) coueidid = company, band or gathering of companions, troop, host, retinue
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) kyueith, kyweith = companion, comrade, friend
kiueithad = society, company, partnership
kyweithaed = gathering, company
kyweythas, kyweithas, keuey[th]as = soceity, company, fellowship, companionship
kweithasgar = sociable, gentle, kind(ly), gracious
kyweithit, ky()eithyd, kyweithyd = company, band or gathering of companions, troop, host, retinue
Welsh (Cymraeg) cywaith = companion, comrade, friend; association, harmony
cyweithad = society, company, partnership
cyweithäed = gathering, company
cyweithas = soceity, company, fellowship, companionship, alliance, commerce; sociable, gentle, kindly
cyweithasu = to associate, civilze, treat with courtesy
cyweithasgar = sociable, gentle, kind(ly), gracious
cyweith(i)asol = social, kind, gentle courteous
cyweithydd = company, band or gathering of companions, troop, host, retinue
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) coweth, cowyth = companion, fellow, mate, comrade
cowethas = company, society
cowethe = company, sociery
cowethes = female companion, help-mate
cowetheyans = communion, fellowship
cowethys = acquainted
Cornish (Kernewek) koweth / kowethes = companion, comrade, friend, mate, peer
kowethas = association, society
kowethasek = social
kowethegeth = friendship
kowethek = friendly
kowethus = gregarious
kowethyades, kowethyas = colleague
kowethyadow = socialable
kowethyans = company, organisation

Etymology: from Proto-Brythonic *ko- (together, equal, similar) u̯ekt- (to move, go) [source].

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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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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