Words for seed and related things in Celtic languages.


Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *sīlom = seed
Old Irish (Goídelc) síl [sʲiːl] = seed, cause, origin, semen, race, progency, descendants, offspring, breed
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) síl = seed, race, progency, descendants, offspring, breed,
sílach = seed
sílaid = to sow spread, breed, sower
sílaige = disseminator, one who propagates
sílaigthid = sower
sílem = sower
sílne = seed, sperm
Irish (Gaeilge) síol [ʃiː(ə)l̪ˠ] = seed, semem, sperm, offspring, progeny
síolach = seedy
síoladóir = seedsman, sower, disseminator
síoladóireacht = (act of) seeding, sowing
síoladaí = disseminator, propagator
síolaicme = race, breed
síolaigh = to seed, sow, disseminate, spread
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sìol [ʃiəl̪ˠ] = seed, sperm, descendants, progency, line, lineage, increase
sìolach [ʃiə̪ˠəx] = breed, brood, offspring
sìolachadh [ʃiəl̪ˠəxəɣ] = (act of) sowing seed, reproducing, propagating, breeding
sìoladair [ʃiəl̪ˠədɪrʲ] = seedsman, sower
sìolag [ʃiəl̪ˠag] = seedling, strainer
sìolaiche [ʃiəl̪ɪç] = propagator
Manx (Gaelg) sheel = seed, sperm,
sheelag = seedling
sheelagh = seedy, fruitful, seminal
sheeleyder = seedsman, distiller, dribbler, refiner
sheelraghey = to breed, propagate, breeding
Proto-Brythonic *hil = race, lineage
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) hil = seed, issue, offspring, progeny, descendents
hiliad = producing, generation, propagation
hylyo, hilyo = to bring forth, breed, beget
Welsh (Cymraeg) hil [hiːl] = seed, issue, offspring, progeny, descendents, posterity, stock, lineage, race
hiliad = producing, generation, propagation, procreation, progency, lineage, offspring
hiliaeth = generation, progeny, lineage
hilio = to bring forth, breed, beget, propagate, increase, populate
hiliog = prolific, fruitful, fecund, fertile, pregrant
hiliogaeth = issue, offspring, seed, breed, race, posterity, descendants, lingeage
hiliwr, hilydd = racist
Cornish (Kernewek) hil = ethnicity, race
hilegydh(es) = racist
hilgasieth = racism
Breton (Brezhoneg) hil = seed, posterity
hilian, hiliañ = to procreate

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁- (to sow, plant, impress, insert) [source].

Words from the same PIE root include earn, season, seed, seminar and sow in English, säen (to sow) in German, siać (to spread, leave smth and forgot its location) in Polish, and sēt (to sow) in Latvian [source].

Proto-Celtic *satos = seed
Proto-Brythonic *had = seed
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) hat, had = seeds
hadv, hadu = to bring forth or produce seed
Welsh (Cymraeg) had [haːd] = seeds, origin, source, bit, mite
hadaf, hadu = to bring forth or produce seed, grow seed, multiply, become fruitful, run to seed, sow, propagate
hadaidd = having seed, seedy, running to seed
hadblanhigyn = seedling
hadfa = seed-plot, nursery-garden
hadle = seed-plot, nursery, seminary, school
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) has, hâs = seed
Cornish (Kernewek) hasa = to sow
hasek = fruitful
has, hasen = seed, sperm
haslet = contraceptive
haslettyans = contraception
Old Breton (Brethonoc) att = seed
Middle Breton (Brezonec) hat = seed, grains, pips
hadaff, hadet, hada = to sow
Breton (Brezhoneg) had = seed, spawn, offspring
hadeg = seeding
hader = sower
haderezh = sowing
hadañ = to sow

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁- (to sow, plant, impress, insert) [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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One thought on “Seeds

  1. In British English, haslet is a ‘ herby pork meatloaf, originally from Lincolnshire’. In Cornish, it means something entirely different!

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