Flowing Slowly

Words for slow and related things in Celtic languages.


Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *malnos/*mallo- = slow, lazy
Old Irish (Goídelc) mall [mal͈] = slow, tardy, late
utmall = unsteady, restless
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) mall = slow, sluggish
mallaigid = to make slow, retard
maill, moill = tardiness, delay
maillech = slowly-moving, leisurely, gentle
admall = very slow, dilatory
immall = very slow, wearisome, sad, sluggish
utmall = unstable, fickle, restless
Irish (Gaeilge) mall [mˠɑul̪ˠ/mˠɑːl̪ˠ/mˠal̪ˠ] = slow, late
mallachar = slowness, dullness, dimness
mallacharach = slow, dim
mallaibh = of late, lately
udhmhall = unstable, restless, unceratin, nimble, quick
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) mall [maul̪ˠ] = slow, deliberate, placid
mallan [mal̪ˠan] = sluggard, slowcoach
mallanach [mal̪ˠanəx] = slow, dilatory
Manx (Gaelg) moal = slow, sorry, tardy, unimpressive, backward, deliberate, dull, feeble, gradual, meagre

Etymology: possibly from PIE *mel- (to be late, hesitate) and *-nós (creates verbal adjectives) [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) slaet = heap, layer, pile
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) slaet = a swathe, layer, pile, illness, disease
slaetach, slaebach = in layers, sweeping (hair)
Irish (Gaeilge) slaod = swath, layer, flowing mass, prostration, stupefication, float, raft; to mow down, lay low, flow, drag, trail, trudge
slaodach = in swaths, in layers, flowing, prostrating, heavy, oppressive, viscous
slaodacht = viscosity
slaodaí = trudger, slowcoach, lazy-bones
slaodaíocht = trudging, slowness, laziness
slaodchiallach = slow-witted
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) slaod [sl̪ˠɯːd] = raft, float, sledge, tow, drag, sluggard, slowcoach
slaodach [sl̪ˠɯːdəx] = slow, sluggish, dilatory, dragging, pulling, awkward, clumsy
slaodachadh [sl̪ˠɯːdəxəɣ] = dragging, hauling, slowing down
slaodachd [sl̪ˠɯːdəxg] = slowness, drowsiness, awkwardness
Manx (Gaelg) sleayd = dredge, trail, sledge, trailer
sleaydagh = trailing
sleayder = lug, trailing

Etymology: unknown [source].

Proto-Celtic *aramo- = quiet
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) araf, arav [ˈarav] = slow, leisurely, calm, quiet
arafu = to be(come) or make slow, slow down
arafaidd, arauaidd = slow, gradual, mild, gentle
arafhau = to make or become quiet or calm,
Welsh (Cymraeg) araf [ˈarav] = slow, gradual, tedious, tiresome, mild, meek, gentle, tender
arafu = to be(come) or make slow, slow down, retard
arafaidd = slow, gradual, mild, gentle, lovely, pleasant
arafedd = slowness, gentleness, tenderness
arafhau = to make or become quiet or calm, ease, abate, moderate
arafol = slow, gradual, slowing, delaying

Etymology: from PIE *h₁r̥h₃-mo-, from *h₁reh₃- (rest). Words from the same roots include Ruhe (calm, quietness, rest) in German, ro (calmness) in Danish, ro (peace, quiet, tranquility) in Swedish, and unruly in English [source].

Proto-Brythonic *segʉr = idle
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) segur = idle
segyra, segura, seguru, segvro = to (be) idle
segyrllyt, segurllyd = idle, lazy, sluggish, slothful
Welsh (Cymraeg) segur [ˈsɛɡɨ̞r / ˈseːɡɪr] = idle, unoccupied, inactive, lazy, slothful, disused, idle
seguro = to (be) idle, laze, linger, lounge around, rest
segurdod = idleness, laziness
segurllyd = idle, lazy, sluggish, slothful
segurwr = idler, lazy person
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) sigyr, zigyr = sluggish, lazy
Cornish (Kernewek) syger = idle, lazy, lethargic, slow
sygera = to seep, trickle
sygerans = seep(age)
sygerneth = idleness, laziness, lethargy
sygerus = at leisure, leisurely

Etymology: from Latin sēcūrus (careless, carefree, negligent, safe, secure), from sē- (without) and‎ cūra (care). Words from the same root include secure and sure in English, sicuru (safe, secure, sure) in Italian, seguro (secure, safe, sure) in Spanish and säker (safe, secure, sure, certain) in Swedish [source].

Proto-Celtic *uɸostatos = stable
Old Irish (Goídelc) fossad = firm, steady
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) fossad, fossud = stationary, fixed, firm, steady, steadfast, consistent, flat surface, level place, stopping-place, abode
Irish (Gaeilge) fosadh = stop, stay, rest, stable position, steadiness, stability
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) fosadh [fɔsəɣ] = cessation, desisting, recess, respite, (act of) abiding
Proto-Brythonic *gwostad = (?)
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) gwastat, guastat = flat, level, smooth
Welsh (Cymraeg) gwastad [ˈɡwastad] = flat, level, smooth, even, horizontal, continual, constant, quiet, peaceful, gentle, plain, level
Cornish (Kernewek) gwastas = flat, open, plain, smooth
Middle Breton (Brezonec) goustat, goustadic, goustadec, goustadic = gently, slowly
Breton (Brezhoneg) gou(e)stad = slow, slowly
doustadik = slow, slowly

Etymology: unknown [source].

Another word for slow in Cornish is lent, and lenthe means to slow down. This is possibly from (Old) French lent (slow), or from Latin lentus (sticky, slow, flexible).

In Middle Cornish the word hel means slow or tardy, and cosel/kozal means soft, quiet, slow or sluggish, which became kosel (calm, quiet, restful, still, tranquil) in revived Cornish.

Another Proto-Celtic word for slow is *dwāyo-. This became doé / doe (slow, sluggish) in Old Irish and Middle Irish, but has no descendents I can find in the modern Celtic languages.

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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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