Iron

Today we’re looking at the words for iron and related things in Celtic languages.

iron fence

Proto-Celtic *īsarnom = iron
Old Irish (Goídelc) íarn [iːa̯rn] = iron
Irish (Gaeilge) iarann [ˈiəɾˠən̪ˠ] = iron (element, appliance, golf club); iron part of a tool; brass (money)
amhiarann, iarnmhian = iron ore
iarann rocach = corrugated iron
iaranach = irons, iron implements, fetters, ploughshare
iaranaigh = to put in irons, fit, cover with iron
iaranaí = (made of) iron, iron-hard
iaranáil = to iron (clothes)
iarnmhangaire = ironmonger
iarannaois = the Iron Age
iarna = hardware
iarnród = railway
iarnúil = iron-like, ferrous
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) iarann [iər̪ˠən̪ˠ] = iron, (metal) blade; day’s worth cutting peat (for two)
iarnaidh = ferrous, iron-hard, iron-coloured, stingy
iarnaigeadh, iarnachadh = (act of) ironing
iarnair = ironmonger
iarainn-tàthainn, iarann-sobhdraidh = soldering iron
iarann-dreasaigidh = clothes iron
iarann mòlltaichte = cast iron
iarann preasach = corrugated iron
rathad-iarainn = railway
Manx (Gaelg) yiarn = iron; tool, scythe, blade; dough (money); tip (gratuity)
yiarnagh = ferric
yiarnal = iron, ironing
yiarneyder = ironmonger
yiarnrey = hardware
yiarnaghey, yiarney = to cover with iron, to iron
yiarnoil = ferrous
Proto-Brythonic *hijarn = hard, hard metal, iron
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) heirn, hyarn, heyrn, hayarnn, haearn = iron
Welsh (Cymraeg) haearn = iron, iron bar, hardness, strength, resoluteness, hard, strong, unyielding; sword, spear, lance; iron armour, coat of mail; fetters, shackles; branding-iron, pincers; flat-iron; spur
haearnaidd = like iron, ferrous; strong, hard, callous, oppressive
haearneiddio = to harden, make (one) unfeeling or callous
haearnol = of iron, iron-like, hard, unfeeling, rigid, stern
haearnwr = ironmonger, ironworker
haearn bwrw = cast iron
haearn gwaith = wrought iron
haearn gwrymiog = corrugated iron
Middle Cornish heorn, horn, hôrn = iron
Cornish (Kernewek) horn = iron
hornek = ferric, iron
hornell = iron (for clothes)
hornella = to iron
horner = ironmonger
horn margh = horseshoe
hyns horn = railway
Old Breton hoiarn = iron
Middle Breton houarnn = iron
Breton (Brezhoneg) houarn [ˈhuː.arn] = iron; flat iron; horseshoe
houarnek = ferric
houarnus = ferrous
houarnaj = scrap iron
houarnajer = scrap merchant
houarnañ = to shoe (a horse)
houarn-marc’h = horseshoe
houarn da zistennañ = iron (for clothes)
hent-houarn = railway

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: probably from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁ēsh₂r̥no- (bloody, red), from *h₁ésh₂r̥ (blood) [source].

Words for iron in Germanic languages come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via the Proto-Germanic *īsarną (iron), including iron in English, ijzer in Dutch, Eisen in German, and järn in Swedish [source].

Words for blood in Romance languages come from the same PIE root, via the Latin sanguīs (blood, descent, progeny, family), including sang in Catalan and French, sangue in Italian and Portuguese, and sangre in Spanish, and also the English word sanguine (blood red; warm, optimistic, confident) [source].

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old Irish glossary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Heather

Today we’re looking at the words for heather and related things in Celtic languages.

Heather

Proto-Celtic *wroikos = heather
Gaulish *wroika = heather
Celtiberian *broikios = heather
Old Irish (Goídelc) froích, fróech = heather
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) fráech = heather
Irish (Gaeilge) fraoch [fˠɾˠeːx / fˠɾˠiːx / fˠɾˠiːx] = heather, heath, moor
fraochán = bilberry, whortleberry, ring-ouzel
fraochlach = heath
fraochmhá = heath
fraochmhar = heathery
fraoch bán = white heather
fraoch coitianta = Scotch heather, ling
píobaire fraoch = grasshopper
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) fraoch [frɯːx] = heather, ling
fraoch-geal = white common heather (Calluna vulgaris alba
fraoch-bheinn = heather-covered mountain
fraochan = whortleberry, blaeberry, lingonberry, cranberry
fraochach = heathy, heathery
Manx (Gaelg) freoagh = heather, ling, heath
freoagh bane = brier, white heather
freoagh marrey = sea fern
freoagh mooar = Scotch heather
Proto-Brythonic *gwrʉg [ˈɡwrʉːɡ] = heather
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) gruc, gerug, gwrug = heather
Welsh (Cymraeg) grug [ɡrɨːɡ / ɡriːɡ] = heather, ling heath
grug cyffredin = heather, ling, common heath, Calluna vulgaris
grugiar = (red) grouse, willow grouse, heath-hen
gruglus = heath-berries
gruglwyn = bush of heather, sweet broom
grugnythu = to nest or nestle in the heather
grugog = heath-covered, heathery, abounding in heather
Cornish (Kernwek) grug [ɡryːɡ / ɡriːɡ] = heath, heather, ling
grugyar = partridge
Middle Breton groegan = heather
Breton (Brezhoneg) brug = heather

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology unknown, possibly from a non-Proto-Indo-European root [source]. It’s uncertain where the Breton word brug comes from, but it’s likey that it was borrowed from the Latin *brūcus (heather).

The Spanish word brezo (heath) comes from the Vulgar Latin *broccius, from the Proto-Celtic *wroikos, as does the Galician breixo (heather) [source].

Words from the Gaulish root *wroikos (heather), via the Latin *brūcus (heather), include brugo (heather) and brughiera (heath, moor) in Italian, bruc (heather) and bruguera (heath) in Catalan, and bruyère (heather, heath, brier) in French [source].

Eilean Fraoch (Heather Isle) is a nickname for the Isle of Lewis / Eilean Leòdhais in the Western Isles / Na h-Eileanan Siar. Here’s a song about it:

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old Irish glossary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Bark and Beehives

Words for bark, beehives and related words in Celtic languages.

Beehives

Proto-Celtic *ruskos = bark, beehive
Gaulish rusca / ruskā = bark, beehive
Old Irish (Goídelc) rúsc [ruːsk] = (tree) bark, basket, covering
Irish (Gaeilge) rúsc [ɾˠuːsˠk] = (tree) bark, vessel made of bark
rúscach = bark-like; rough, wrinkled (skin)
rúscán = strip of bark, vessel made of bark, kind of seaweed
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) rùsg [r̪ˠuːsg] = (tree) bark, peel, rind, husk, crust, fleece
rùsg-caorach = sheep’s fleece
rùsg-abhaill = apple peel
rùsg na Talmhainn = crust of the Earth
rùsgan [r̪ˠuːsgan] = thin (tree) bark, thin peel/rind/husk, thin crust, small fleece, bark boat
rùsgach = fleecy
Manx (Gaelg) roost [ruːst] = peel, bark, rind
roostey = strip, peel, hull, rob, bare, rind, debunk, rifle, unbark, deprive, peeling, exposure
Proto-Brythonic *rrisk = bark
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) risgl, risg, rhisg, risc = bark
Welsh (Cymraeg) rhisg(l) [ˈr̥ɪsɡ(l)/ˈr̥ɪsɡɪ(l)] = (piece of) bark, rind, peel (of fruit) husk (of grain)
rhisg(l)ach = pieces of bark
rhisgen = (bark) dish or pan
rhisglen = (piece of) bark, rind; hackle, flax comb
rhisgl(i)af, rhisgaf, rhisgl(i)o, rhisgo = to bark, decorticate, peel )(off), develop bark (on), encrust
rhisg(l)aidd = having bark or rind, corticate(d), covered with bark
Old Cornish rusc = bark
Middle Cornish risc = bark
Cornish (Kernewek) rusken = bark, peel
ruskek = rough-barked
Middle Breton rusquenn = beehive
Breton (Brezhoneg) rusk = bark, peel, zest
ruskek = rough, rugged, coarse
ruskenn = (bee)hive, apiary
ruskennad = beehive
ruskenner = beehive maker

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *h₃rewk- (to dig up), possibly from *h₃er- (to move, stir) [source].

The French word ruche (beehive, ruffle, flounce) and the Catalan word rusc (beehive) come from the Gaulish root rusca, via the Late Latin rusca (bark), and the English word ruche (pleated fabric, ruff), and the German word Rüsche (ruffle, ruche) were borrowed from French [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, logainm.ie, 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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