Muddy Mires

Words for mud and related things in Celtic languages.

HFF 44

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *latyos = moist
Old Irish (Goídelc) lathach [dʲerɡ] = mud, mire
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) lathach, laithech, lathaig = mire, puddle, quagmire, morass
Irish (Gaeilge) lathach [ˈl̪ˠɑhəx / l̪ˠaiç] = mud, slush, slime
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) lathach [l̪ˠa.əx] = mire, ooze, sludge, quicksand
lathach-mhòine = peat-bog
lathach sàile = saltmarsh
lathachach [l̪ˠa.əxəx] = muddy, oozy, sludgy
lathachail [l̪ˠa.əxal] = muddy, oozy, sludgy
lathadh = besemearing, (be)numbing, heat (in cats)
Manx (Gaelg) laagh = mire, mud
laagh vog = sludge
laaghagh = muddy, sludgy, slushy
laaghan = muddy place, slough
Proto-Brythonic *llėd = mud
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llaid = mud, mire, dirt, clay, slime, ooze
lleidyawc = muddy, clayey, miry, oozy, slimy
Welsh (Cymraeg) llaid [ɬai̯d] = mud, mire, dirt, clay, slime, ooze, quagmire, quicksand, dregs
lleidfa = muddy or clayey place
lleidfysgaf, lleidfysgu = to, knead, work clay, bespatter with mud or dirt, bedraggle, bemire
lleidiaf, lleidio = to turn into mud or clay, become sodden
lleidiog = muddy, clayey, miry, oozy, slimy
lleidiogaf, lleidiogi = to become muddy or miry
lleidiogrwydd = muddiness, ooziness, turbidity
lleidiol = full of mud, muddy, miry, clayey
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) lued, luth, lyys, lys, lŷs = mud, mire, dirt, filth
luedic = miry, filthy, stinking
lyys haal = salt-marsh
Cornish (Kernewek) leys [lɛɪz] = mud, slime
leysek = mire
Middle Breton (Brezonec) lec’hid = slime, silt
Breton (Brezhoneg) lec’hid = slime, silt
lec’hidadur = siltation
lec’hidan, lec’hidañ = to silt up, become gelatinous, viscous
lec’hideg = mudflat
lec’hidus = muddy

Etymology from Proto-Indo-European *lat- (damp, wet). Words from the same roots include latex in English, latãkas (chute, gutter, duct) in Lithuanian, and lag (to wet, moisten) in Albanian [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) láp = mud, mire, sin, vice
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) láip [l͈aːb] = mud, mire, sin, vice
Irish (Gaeilge) láib [l̪ˠɑːbʲ/l̪ˠæːbʲ] = mud, mire; to muddy, spatter
caoch láibe = mole
oitir láibe = mud-bank
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) làb [l̪ˠaːb] = mire, mud, muddy puddle, day’s labour
làbach [l̪ˠaːbəx] = marsh, swamp
làbachas [l̪ˠaːbəxəs] = swampiness, bogginess
làban [l̪ˠaːban] = mire, mud, muddy place, dirty work, drudgery, wet and muddy person
làbanachadh [l̪ˠaːbanəxəɣ] = smearing, daubing, dirtying, wallowing, bedraggling, drenching
làbrach [l̪ˠaːbarəx] = miry, muddy, dirty, dirty/unkempt person
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) loob = slime, sludge
Cornish (Kernewek) loub = slime, sludge
louba = to lubricate

Etymology: probably related to lathach [source].

Proto-Celtic *kʷrīyess = clay
Old Irish (Goídelc) cré [kʲrʲeː] = clay, earth
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) cré, cre = clay, earth
créda, criadta, criata, creodae = clayey, earthen, fictile (pliable, moldable)
Irish (Gaeilge) cré = clay, earth, dust
créachadh = (act of) earthing, moulding
créafóg = clay, earth
crécholúr = clay pigeon
cré-earra = earthenware
créúil = clayey, earthy
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) criadh [krʲiəɣ] = clay
criadgadair [krʲia.ədɪrʲ] = potter
criadhadaireachd [krʲia.ədɪrʲəxg] = pottery
Manx (Gaelg) cray = ash, clay, pipe clay
crayee = ceramic, earthen
crayoil = clayey, earthy
Proto-Brythonic *prið [ˈpriːð] = clay, mud, earth
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) prid, pridd = soil, earth, dust, ground, clay, mortar, plaster
priddo = to cover with earth, bury
pridell, priddell = clod, sod, dust, soil
priddled, priddlyd = earthy, earthen, dirty, dusty,
Welsh (Cymraeg) pridd [priːð] = soil, earth, dust, ground, clay, mortar, plaster
priddach = soil, earth, clay, earthenware
pridd(i)af, pridd(i)o = to cover with earth, bury, plaster, daub
priddawr = potter
pridd-dom = dirt, mud, clay
priddell = clod, sod, dust, soil, grave, potsherd, brick, tile
priddfaen = brick, (earthenware) tile for making bricks
priddl(l)yd = earthy, earthen, dirty, dusty, uncouth
priddwr = mason, plasterer, burier
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) pri, pry, prî = mould, earth, clay
prian, prían = clayey ground
Cornish (Kernewek) pri = clay, mud
priek = clayey
prien = clay ground
priweyth = pottery
priweythor, priweythores = potter
priweythva = clay-works, pottery
Old Breton (Brethonoc) pri = clay, mudt
Middle Breton (Brezonec) pry = clay, mud
Breton (Brezhoneg) pri [priː] = clay, mud, mortar
priaj = ceramic
prian, priañ = to coat with clay
priasell = waste, quagmire
priasellek = full of clay mud
prieg = clayey, muddy

Etymology possibly from Proto-Indo-European *krey- (to siftm separate, divide). Words from the same roots include latex in English, latãkas (chute, gutter, duct) in Lithuanian, and lag (to wet, moisten) in Albanian [source].

Middle Breton (Brezonec) fanc, fancq, fang, fank = mud, excrement
Breton (Brezhoneg) fank [ˈfãŋk] = mud, excrement
fankan, fankañ = to poop
fankeg = muddy

Etymology from Norman fanque (mud) [source] from Old French fange (mud, addle, mire), from Vulgar Latin *fanga/*fangus (mud), possibly from Frankish, from Proto-Germanic *fanją (swamp, fen). The French words fange (filth, mire, debauchery) and fagne (marshland, fen), and the Catalan word fang (mud) come from the same roots [source].

Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llaka, lacca, llacca = mud, sludge, mire, dirt, muck, puddle, filth, slome
Welsh (Cymraeg) llaca [ɬaka] = mud, sludge, mire, dirt, muck, puddle, filth, slime
llaceilyd = muddy, miry, dirty

Etymology from Middle English lake/laca (lake, stream; ditch, drain, sewer), from Old French lac (lake) or Latin lacus (lake, basin, tank), to-Italic *lakus (lake), from Proto-Indo-European *lókus (pond, pool) [source].

Proto-Celtic *lutā = dirt, mud
Gaulish *lutos = swamp
Celtiberian *lutā = swamp
Old Irish (Goídelc) loth [ˈloθ] = mire, mud, swamp, marsh
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) loth, lath = mud, mire, quagmire, marsh
Irish (Gaeilge) lodair = to cover with mud, muddy, to wallow in mire, grovel
lodán = stagnant pool, puddle
lodar = miry place, slough, soft, flabby person
lodartha = muddy, slushy, slobby, soft, flabby, grovelling, abject, base, vulgar
lodarthacht = muddiness, slushiness, softness, flabbiness, abjectness, baseness, vulgarity
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) lod [l̪ˠɔd] = pool, pond, marsh
lodagan = small pool of water
lodan = puddle, small pool, small marsh

Etymology from Proto-Indo-European *lew- (dirt, mud) [source].

Lutetia, the Gallo-Roman town founded in 52 BC that became Paris, gets it’s name from the Gaulish word *lutos (swamp) [source]. It was known as Lutetia Parisiorum by the Romans.

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

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