Words for barn and related things in Celtic languages.


Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Old Irish (Goídelc) sciból = barn
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) sciból, sgioból = barn, granary
Irish (Gaeilge) scioból [ʃkɪˈbˠoːl̪ˠ] = barn
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sgiobal [sgʲibəl̪ˠ] = barn, granary
Manx (Gaelg) skibbalt = barn, granary
Old Welsh (Kembraec) scipaur = barn, granary
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ysgubaỽr, yscubawr, sgubor, yscubor, yscupor = barn, granary
Welsh (Cymraeg) ysgubor, sgubor [əsˈɡɨ̞bɔr/əsˈɡiːbɔr] = barn, granary, farm building
(y)sguboraidd = barn-like
ysguborio = to put or store in a barn
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) scaber, sciber, skibor = barn, any large room
Cornish (Kernewek) skiber = barn, corn-loft, granary
Middle Breton (Brezonec) squiber, skiber = lean-to, shed, reception room
Breton (Brezhoneg) skiber = shed, lean-to, storage room

Etymology (Brythonic words): possibly from Proto-Brytonic *ɨskʉb (sheaf), from Latin scōpa (branch of a plant, broom, besom), from Proto-Italic *skōpās, from Proto-Indo-European *skeh₂p- (rod, shaft, staff, club) [source]. The Goidelic words were probably borrowed from a Brythonic language [source].

Some words for Brushes and Brooms in Celtic languages come from the same roots, as do the words scopa (broom) in Italian, escoba (broom) in Spanish, and shqopë (heather, heath, briar) in Albanian [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) saball = barn
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) saball = barn
Irish (Gaeilge) sabhall = barn
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sabhal [sa.əl̪ˠ] = barn, granary
sabhal-feòir = hay barn
sabhalalach [sa.əl̪ˠəx] = barn-like, pertaining to or abounding in barns
Manx (Gaelg) soalt = barn, granary

Etymology: from Latin stablum (dwelling, stable, hut, tavern), from stō (to stand, stay, remain) and‎ -bulum (instrumental suffix) ( [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) ithlann = barn, granary, threshing floor
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) ithlann, ithla, ithland = threshing floor, barn, granary, storehouse, garden
Irish (Gaeilge) iothlainn = stackyard, rickyard
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) iothl(i)ann [jul̪ˠən̪ˠ/jul̪ɪn̪ʲ] = yard, farmyard enclosure
Manx (Gaelg) uhllin = corn-yard, farmyard, haggard, rick-yard, stack-yard

Etymology: from Old Irish ith (corn, grain) and lann (building, house, land, plot) [source].

Other words for barn in Welsh include grawndy (barn, granary), grawnfa (barn, granary) and heiniardy (barn, granary).

Incidentally, the word barn means opinion, view, judgement or sentence in Welsh, to judge in Breton, and it means child in the Northern Germanic languages, such as Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic, and in dialects of English spoken in parts of northern England [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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