Colourful Hues

Words for colour, hue, pigment and related colourgs in Celtic languages.

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Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *līwos = colour
Gaulish *lios = colour
Old Irish (Goídelc) [ˈtane] = lustre, beauty
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) lí, li = beauty, lustre, glory, complexion, slendour, appearance, pallor
Irish (Gaeilge) [l̠ʲiː] = colour, complexion, lustre, sheen, pigment(ation)
líú = (act of) colouring, painting
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) [l̪ʲiː] = paint, colour, tinge, hue, complexion, properity, happiness
lìth [l̪ʲiː] = lustre, gloss, splendour, complexion, hue
lìtheach [l̪ʲiː] = greasy, slimy,slippery
Manx (Gaelg) lhee = pigment, pigmentation
Proto-Brythonic *lliw = colour
Old Welsh liu = colour, hue
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llyu, lliw, lliỽ, llyw = colour,hue
lliwyav, lliwaw = to colour, paint, dye
lliỽyd, lliwyd = dyer, colourer, painter
Welsh (Cymraeg) lliw [ɬɪu̯] = colour, hue, tint, complexion, countenance, colouring
lliwddall = colourbind
lliwgar = colourful, vivid, beautiful, handsome
lliw(i)af, lliw(i)o = to colour, tinge, paint, dye
lliw(i)og = coloured, tinted, dyed, painted
lliwydd = dyer, colourer, painter
Old Cornish liu = colour
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) liu, lyw = colour, dye, hue
liue = to colour, paint
liuor = painter, dyer
Cornish (Kernewek) liw = colour,dye, paint
liwa = to colour, dye, paint
liwans = painting
liwus = colourful
liwayans = painting, picture
liways = coloured, dye
Old Breton (Brethonoc) liu = colour, ink, dyed
Middle Breton (Brezonec) liu, liou = colour, ink, dyed
liuaff = to colour, dye, paint
Breton (Brezhoneg) liv [liw] = colour, ink, paint, dyed
livañ [ˈliː.vã] = to colour, dye, paint, depict
livek [ˈliːvek] = coloured
liver, livour [ˈliː.vɛr/ˈli.wːər] = painter, colourist
livus [ˈliːvys] = dye, picturesque

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *slih₂-wó-s from *(s)leh₃y- (blueish, plum-coloured) and *-wós (creates adjectives from verb stems) [source]. Words from the same PIE roots include livid, lurid and sloe in English, slíva (plum) in Czech, and possibly lloer (moon) in Welsh, loor (moon) in Cornish and loar (moon) in Breton [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) dath [daθ] = colour, dye
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) dath = colour, dye, hue, tint, complexion
dathach = coloured
dathaid, daithaigid = colours, dyes, stains
dathamail = coloured, fine, handsome, beautiful, comely, graceful
dathugud = colouring, dyeing, painting
Irish (Gaeilge) dath [d̪ˠax/d̪ˠɑh/d̪ˠah] = colour, dye
dathach = coloured
dathadóir = colourist, dyer, painter, exaggerator, fictionist
dathadóireacht = (act of) dyeing, painting
dathaigh = to colour,dye, paint
dathannach = multi-coloured, gaily-coloured, colourful, glowing
dathdhall = colour-blind
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) dath [dah] = colour, colouring, dye, pigment, dying, hue, tint, staining, suit (of cards)
dathach [dahəx] = coloured, colourful
dathachadh [dahəxəɣ] = colourising, dyeing, staining
dathadair [dahədɪrʲ] = dyer, colourist
dathail [dahal] = colourful
dathte [dahdʲə] = coloured
Manx (Gaelg) daah = colour, dye, hue, paint, pigment, singe, stain, tincture
daahagh = coloured, stainable
daahder = colourer, colourist, dyer, exaggerator, painter
daahit = coloured, dyed, painted, pigmented, stained
daahoil = colourful, picturesque, well-coloured

Etymology: unknown [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) gné = appearance, form, kind, sort, species
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) gné = kind, species, appearance, form, way, manner
Irish (Gaeilge) gné [ɟnʲeː/ɟɾʲeː] = species, kind, form, appearance
gnéitheach = specific, of good appearance
gnétheacht = specificity
gnéthigh = to regain appearance, mend
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) gnè [grʲɛ̃ː] = sex, gender, genre, kind, sort, temper, disposition, genus, species
gnè-fhàs [grɛ͂ː aːs] = evolution
gnè-eòlas = typology
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) gne = colour, tint, hue, sight, aspect
gorne = colour, hue, tint
Welsh (Cymraeg) gne = colour, tint, hue, sight, aspect
agne = colour, tincture
gorne = colour, hue, tint, tincture, blush, brightness, appearance, aspect

Etymology: from PIE *ǵenh₁- (to produce, beget, give birth) [source]. Words from the same roots include gender, general, generate, genius and germ in English [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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