Modestly Humble

Words for modest and related things in Celtic languages.

Modestly Humble

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *wēlos = modest
Old Irish (Goídelc) fíal [fʲiːa̯l] = becoming, generous, genteel, seemly, well-bred
Middle Irish (Gaoidhleag) fíal = decorous becoming, seemly (of conduct or behavious), modest, chaste, well-bred, honourable, noble
fíalmar = noble-natured, generous
Irish (Gaeilge) fial [fʲiəlˠ] = seemly, proper, noble, generous, hospitable
fialmhaireacht = open-handedness, generosity
fialmhaitheas = goodness of heart, generosity
fialmhar = open-handed, generous
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) fial [fiəl̪ˠ] = generous, unstinting, liberal, open-handed, bountiful, hospitable
fial-chridheachd = altruism
fial-inntinneach = open-minded, liberal-minded
fialach [fiəl̪ˠəx] = generous, unstinting, liberal, open-handed, bountiful, hospitable
fialachd [fiəl̪ˠəxg] = generosity, liberality
fialaiche = provider of hospitality
Manx (Gaelg) feoilt = benevolent, bountiful, generous, munificent
feoiltagh = benevolent, bounteous, free, lavish, liberal, unselfish
Old Welsh (Kembraec) guiled = shame
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) guyl, gwyl, gŵyl = modest, bashful, unassuming, unobstrusive
guilat, gwylat = merry, glad, lively
gwylder = modesty, bashfulness, humility, feeling faint
gvilet, gwylet, gwyled = modesty, humility, gentleness, shame
Welsh (Cymraeg) gŵyl = [ɡuːɨ̯l/ɡʊi̯l] = modest, bashful, unassuming, unobstrusive, mild, tender, gentle, gracious, joyous, glad, generous, kind
gwylad = merry, glad, lively
gwyldeb = modesty, bashfulness
gwylader, gwyldra = modesty, bashfulness, humility, feeling faint
gwyledd = modesty, humility, gentleness, meekness, courtesy, graciousness, joy, shame

Etymology: possibly from the PIE *wey- (turn) or *wāg- (to be bent), which is related to vagus (wandering, roaming) in Latin, from which we get the English words vague and vagabond [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) umal [ˈuṽal] = humble, obedient
umaldóit = humility
umlaigid = to humble
Middle Irish (Gaoidhleag) umal = humble, obedient, submissive
umaldóit, omaldóit, umallóit = humility
uimligid, huimligte, umlaigid = to humble
Irish (Gaeilge) umhal [uəl̪ˠ/uːlˠ] = humble, submissive, lithe, supple, plant
umhlaigh = to humble, bow, submit, obey, stoop
umhlaíocht = humility, submission, obedience, dutifulness, respect
umhlóid = humility, submission, lowly service, attendence, ministration, suppleness, pliancy
umhlú = genuflection, curtsey, obesiance, submission
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) umhal [ũ.əl̪ˠ] = submissive, obedient, humble, lowly, meek
Manx (Gaelg) imlee = humble, lowly, menial, simple
imlagh = humble, humbling
imlaghey = humble, stoop
Old Welsh (Kembraec) humil = humble
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) huvyll, uvell = merry, glad, lively
uỽyl, vffil = humble, meek, submissive
ufullder, uvyllder = humility
uỽyltaỽd, uvylldaỽt, vuildaud, vffyldaud = humility
Welsh (Cymraeg) ufyl = humble, meek, submissive
ufyllter, ufullter = humility
ufylltod, ufulltod, ufelltod, hufylltod = humility
hyful = humble
Old Cornish (Cernewec) huvel, hyvbl, evall = humble, lowly
huveldot = hunility
hyvla = tp be humble, to be obedient, to obey
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) huvel, hyvbl, evall = humble, lowly
huveldot = hunility
hyvla = tp be humble, to be obedient, to obey
Cornish (Kernewek) uvel = humble, lowly, modest
uvelder = humility
Middle Breton vuel, uuel = humble, meek, lowly
uffuelhat = to humiliate (oneself)
vuelaff, uvelañ = to humble oneself
vueldet, vuheltet = humility, humbleness, meekness
vulder, vuelder, uffuelter = humility, humbleness
Breton (Brezhoneg) uvel [ˈyː.vɛl] = humble, meek, lowly
uvelded, uvelder = humility, humbleness, meekness
uvelaat = to humiliate

Etymology: from the Latin humilis (low, lowly, small, slight, shallow), which is also the root of the English word humility, the French humilité (humility), and the humildad (humility, humbleness) [source].

The Cornish word klor means meek, mild, moderate, modest and klorder means modesty. Their origins are not known

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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, 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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