Thin & Slender

Words for thin, slender and related things in Celtic languages.

The Spire of Dublin.

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *tanauyos = thin
Old Irish (Goídelc) tana [ˈtane] = thin, slender
tanacht = thinness
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) tana = thin, slender, narrow, shallow, sparse, scanty, scattered
tanacht = thinness, tenuity, shallowness
tanaide = subtle, abstract, thin, slender
tanaigid = to thin (out), dilute
Irish (Gaeilge) tanaí [t̪ˠəˈn̪ˠiː / ˈt̪ˠan̪ˠiː] = thin, shallow
tanaigh = to thin, slim
tanaíochan = thinning
tanaíocht = thinness, sparseness, flimsiness
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) tana [tanə] = lean, slender, slim, thin, gaunt, skinny, shallow, flimsy
tanalachd [tanəl̪ˠəxg] = shallows, shallowness
tanach [tanəx] = narrow, slender
tanachadh [tanəxəɣ] = thinning, makeing thinner, diluting
tainead [tanəd] = degree of thinness
tanlach [tanəl̪ˠəx] = shallow water, shallows, shoal, thin soil, epidermis
tanachd [tanəxg] = thinness
tanaichte [tanɪçdʲə] = diluted, thinned
Manx (Gaelg) thanney = thin, watery, weak, flimsy, rare, shallow, slender, slim
thannaghey = to dilute, liquefy, rarefy, reduce
thannid = thinness, shallowness, leanness
Proto-Brythonic *tanẹw = thin
Old Welsh teneu = thin, slender, slim
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) tenev, tenau, teneu = thin, slender, slim, flat, sparse, rare, tenuous, liquid, runny
teneir = to make or become thin(ner)
teneuder = thinness, leanness, slenderness
Welsh (Cymraeg) tenau [ˈtɛnaɨ̯ / ˈteːnai̯] = thin, slender, watery, thin, scarce, rare
teneuaf, teneuo = to make or become thin(ner), lose weight, slim, dwindle, thin, dilute, water down
teneuder = thinness, leanness, slenderness, rareness, scarcity, keenness
teneudra = thinness, leanness, slenderness
teneuedig = thin, thinned, diluted, depleted, rarefied
teneuwr = dieter, weight-watcher, slimmer
Old Cornish tenewen = thin
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) tanow, tanaw = thin, slim, slender, lean, few, scarce
tanowder = thinness, scantiness, scarcity
Cornish (Kernewek) tanow = flimsy, lean, rare, scarce, sparse, tenuous, thin
tanowder = rarity, scarcity, thinness
tanowhe = to thin out
Middle Breton (Brezonec) tanau, tano = thin, fine
Breton (Brezhoneg) tanav [ˈtãː.naw / ˈtãː.no] = thin, fine, fluid, rare, hypocritical
tanavaat = (to be) refined, (to be) rarefied, to liquefy, dilute, weed & clear, cut (bread for soup)
tanavded = tenuity, liquidity
tanavder = tenuity, decay
tanavenn = thin place (in fabric), sparse, liquid, emaciated, hypocritical

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *ténh₂us (thin), from *tenh₂- (to stretch) [source]. Words from the same PIE roots include thin and tenuous in English, tenú (tenuous, thin, slender) in French, dünn (thin, slender, slim) in German, and tenký (thin) in Czech [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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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