Hiding & Concealment

Words for hide, conceal and related words in Celtic languages.


Words marked * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *kelo- = to hide
*keleti = to hide, conceal
Old Irish (Goídelc) ceilid = to hide, conceal
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) ceilid = to hide, conceal, admit, allow, concede, withhold, hoard, suppress, destroy
ceilt = act of hiding, concealing, suppressing
cel = concealment, dissolution, extinction, death
celt = covering, garment, clothing
celtair = concealment, covering, garment, cloak
Irish (Gaeilge) ceil [kɛlʲ] = to conceal, suppress, withhold
ceileantas = concealment, secrecy
ceileatram = disguise, veneer
ceilt = concealment, withholding, denial
ceilteanas = concealment
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ceil [kʲel] = concealment, death (archaic)
ceileadh [kʲeləɣ] =(act of) concealing, hiding
ceilear [kʲelər] = concealer, someone who hides, screener
ceilt [kʲeldʲ] = concealment
ceilte [kʲeldʲə] = concealed, hidden
ceilteach [kʲeldʲəx] = concealing, reserved
Manx (Gaelg) keill = to hide
keiltyn = to coneal, cover (up), disguies, hide, shelter; concealment, dissimulation, suppression
keiltynys = camouflage, furtiveness, hiding
Proto-Brythonic *kelɨd =
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cêl, cel = hiding, concealment, shelter
kelv, kelu, kely = to hide, conceal
celadwy, keladwy = hidden, concealed, private, secret
keledic = hidden, concealed, secret
Welsh (Cymraeg) cêl [kɛːl/keːl] = hiding, concealment, shelter, bower, hidden, secret
celaf, celu [ˈkɛlɨ̞/ˈkeːli/ˈkɛli] = to hide, conceal, keep secret
celadwy = hidden, concealed, private, secret
celdy = bower, arbour
celedig = hidden, concealed, secret, dissembled
celedigaeth = concealment, secrecy
celedd = secretiveness, caution
datgelaf, datgelu = to reveal, detect, blab, solve
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) celes, celys, kelys = to conceal, hide
Cornish (Kernewek) kel = hidden, secret
keles = to conceal, hide
keles ha kavos = hide-and-seek

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *ḱéleti (to be covering, hiding), from *ḱel- (to cover) [source].

Words from the same roots include words for cell and church in Celtic languages, cell, cellar, clandestine, conceal, hall, hell, helmet and occult in English, and the name William [source].

Words such as Celt and Celtic, and their equivalents in other languages possibly come from the same Proto-Celtic roots, via the French celtique (Celtic), Latin Celtae (the Celts) and the Greek Κελτοί (Keltoí) / Κέλται (Kéltai), which is what Herodotus called the Gauls. They might have originally meant something like ‘descendents of the hidden one (the underworld deity)’, and according to Julius Caesar, the Gauls claimed descent from an underworld god [source].

In Breton, kuzh means secret and confidential, and kuzhat means to hide. They are cognate with the Welsh words cudd (concealment, secrecy) and cuddio (to hide, conceal), and the Cornish words kudh (concealed, hidden, secret) and kudha (to conceal, hide). See the Celtiadur post Mysterious Secrets for more details.

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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, Lexicon Cornu-britannicum: A Dictionary of the Ancient Celtic Language of Cornwall, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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