Impeccable Peccadillos

Words for sin, fault, crime and related things in Celtic languages.

Somebody looks guilty.

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *kariyā = mistake, sin
Old Irish (Goídelc) caire [ˈkarʲe] = crime, fault, sin
Middle Irish (Gaoidhleag) caire, cair, coire = crime, fault, sin
cairech = criminal, guilty, sinful
cairigid = rebukes, accuses, blames
cairthech = criminal, guilty
Irish (Gaeilge) coir [kɛɾʲ/kɪɾʲ] = crime, offence; fault, transgression
coireach = offender, transgressor; wicked, sinful, guilty
coireacht = wickedness, guiltiness
coiriú = censure
coireolaí = criminologist
coiritheoir = accuser, incriminator
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) coire [kɔrʲə] = blame, fault, offence, wrong
coireach [kɤrʲəx] = culprit; guilty, to blame, faulty, responsible
coireachd [kɔrʲəxg] = culpability
Proto-Brythonic *kareð [kaˈrɛːð] = mistake, sin
Old Welsh cared = transgression, sin, crime
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cared, karet = transgression, sin, crime
karedus = sinful, evil
Welsh (Cymraeg) caredd [ˈkarɛð] = transgression, sin, crime, lust, love
careddus = sinful, evil
careddwr = accuser, evil-doer
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) cara = to correct, chastise
Middle Breton (Brezonec) carez, garé = blame, reprimand
carez = to blame, accuse
Breton (Brezhoneg) karez = blame, incrimination
kareziñ = to blame, accuse

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *kh₂er- (blame, abuse). Words from the same PIE root include cārinō (I revile, blame, insult) in Latin, корить [kɐˈrʲitʲ] (to reproach, upbraid) in Russian, and коря [koˈrʲɤ̟] (to accuse, blame) in Bulgarian [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) peccad = sin
pecthaigid = to sin
Middle Irish (Gaoidhleag) pec(c)ad = sin
pecthach = sinful, committing sin, sinner
pecthaigid, pec(c)aigid = sins. commits sin
Irish (Gaeilge) peaca [ˈpʲakə/ˈpʲaku] = sin
peacadh = offender, transgressor; wicked, sinful, guilty
peacach = sinner, sinful
peacaigh = to sin
peacúil = sinful
peacúlacht = sinfulness
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) peaca [pɛxgə] = sin
peacadh, peacachadh [pɛxgəxəɣ] = sinning, sin, transgressing
peacail [pɛxgal] = sinful
peacach [pɛxgəx] = sinner
Manx (Gaelg) peccah = human being, sinner, sin, wickedness
peccagh = human, person, transgressor, sinner
peccoil = erring, sinful, unregenerate
Proto-Brythonic *pexọd [peˈxɔːd] = sin
*pexadʉr = sinner
*pexad [peˈxɔːd] = to sin, offend
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) pechawt = sin
pechadur = sinner
pechu =to sin, offend
Welsh (Cymraeg) pechod [ˈpɛχɔd/ˈpeːχɔd] = sin
pechadur [pɛˈχadɨ̞r/pɛˈχaːdɪr] = sinner, offender
pechu [ˈpɛχɨ/ˈpeːχi] =to sin, offend
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) pech, pêch, pechad, pechas = sin, offence, transgression
pecha, peché = to sin, transgress, offend
pechadur, pechadures = sinner, transgressor
Cornish (Kernewek) pegh = guilt, sin
pegha = to sin, offend
peghador, peghadores = sinner
peghes = sin
peghus = sinful
Middle Breton (Brezonec) pechet = blame
pechiff =to sin, offend
pechezr = sinner
Breton (Brezhoneg) pec’hed = sin
pec’hiñ = to sin, offend
pec’her = sinner

Etymology: from Latin peccātum (sin), from peccō (I sin, offend), from Proto-Italic *petkāō (I sin), from Proto-Indo-European verbal root *ped- (“to walk, fall, stumble”) [source].

Words from the same roots include peccadillo, impeccable, foot, pedal, pedestrian, and pew in English, pécher (to sin) in French, pecar (to sin) in Spanish [source].

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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, Lexicon Cornu-britannicum: A Dictionary of the Ancient Celtic Language of Cornwall, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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