Trousers, Socks and Sites

Words for trousers, socks, sites and related words in Celtic languages.

Red Trousers

Proto-Celtic *ɸlātrom = flat position
Old Irish (Goídelc) láthar [ˈl͈aːθar] = arrangement, disposition
láthraid [ˈl͈aːθrɨðʲ] = to arrange, to dispose
Irish (Gaeilge) láthair [ˈl̪ˠɑːhəɾʲ/ˈl̪ˠæhəɾʲ] = place, spot, site, location; presence
as láthair = absent
faoi láthair = at present
i láthair = present
láithreach = ruined site, ruin, trace; imprint; present (tense)
láithreacht = presence
láithreán = piece of ground, place, site; ruined, vacated site; floor, space; set
láithreog = small site; trace, mark; small well-built girl
láithrigh = to present oneself, appear
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) làthair [l̪ˠaː.ɪrʲ] = presence, venue
an làthair = present, here, in attendance; extant; in existence
neo-làthair = absent
neo-làthaireachd = absence
làthaireach = present
làthaireachd = presence; attendance; atmosphere
uile-làthaireachd = omnipresence
Manx (Gaelg) laaragh = centric(al), stage, centre, venue, site
emshir-laaragh = present tense
neuaaragh, assaaragh = absent
ooilley-laaragh = ubiquitous
Proto-Brythonic *lọdr = leg covering
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llauder, llahudyr, llawdyr, llodr = trousers, breeches, hose
Welsh (Cymraeg) llawdr [ˈɬaːu̯dr] = trousers, breeches, hose
llawdrog, llodrog = wearing breeches, bedraggled
llawdrwisg = breeches
llawdrwr, llodrydd, llodrwr = breeches-maker
llaesu llawdr = to undo one’s trousers (to ease oneself)
Old Cornish loder = sock
Cornish (Kernewek) lodrik = sock
Middle Breton louzr = sock
Breton (Brezhoneg) loer = sock, (trouser) leg

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂- (flat) [source].

From the same PIE root we also get Celtic words for hand, from the Proto-Celtic *ɸlāmā (palm, hand) [source], which was borrowed from Old Irish into Old Norse and became lámur (flipper, paw, left hand) in Faroese [source].

Words for floor and ground in Celtic languages also come from the same PIE root, via the Proto-Celtic *ɸlārom (floor) [source].

English words from the same PIE root include floor, palm, piano, plain, plan and plane, and also Poland [source].

Irish (Gaeilge) bríste [ˈbʲɾʲiːʃtʲə] = trousers; breeching (of harness); roe (of pollock)
brístín = panties, knickers
fobhríste = underpants
forbhríste = overalls
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) briogais [brʲigɪʃ] = trousers, breeches
briogais-ghlùine = shorts, plus fours
briogais-ghoirid, briogais-bheag = shorts
briogais-shnàimh = swimming trunks
Manx (Gaelg) breeçhyn = breeches
breeçhyn glioonagh = knee breeches
breeçhyn markee = riding breeches
Welsh (Cymraeg) brits(h) = breeches
britis pen-(g)lin = knee-breeches
Breton (Brezhoneg) bragez = knickers, panties, breeches
bragez vihan = underpants, briefs, pants, panties

Etymology: from the English breeches, from the Middle English brech(e), brek (breeches), from the Old English brēċ (underpants), from the Proto-Germanic *brōkiz, from *brōks (leggings, pants, trousers; rear end, rump) the Proto-Indo-European *bʰreg- (to break, crack, split) [source].

Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) triubhas = closs-fitting shorts
Irish (Gaeilge) triús = (pair of) trousers, trews
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) triubhas [tru.əs] = trousers, trews
Manx (Gaelg) troosyn = slacks, pants, trews, tights, trouser, knickers
troosyn çhionn = pantaloons
troosyn giarey = short trousers
troosyn markee = jodhpurs
Welsh (Cymraeg) trywsus, trywser, trowsus [ˈtrou̯sɨ̞s/ˈtrou̯sɪs] = trousers, breeches, knickers, panties
trywsus bach = shorts, short trouserse, knickerbockers
Breton (Brezhoneg) bragez = knickers, panties, breeches
bragez vihan = underpants, briefs, pants, panties
bragoù = trousers

Etymology (Welsh): from the English trousers, from the Middle Irish triubhas (trousers, trews) of uncertain origin [source]. The English word trews (trousers, especially if close fitting and tartan) was borrowed from Scottish Gaelic [source].

Cornish (Kernewek) lavrek = trousers
lavrek byghan = briefs, underpants
lavrek jin = jeans
lavrek kott = short
Breton (Brezhoneg) lavreg = trousers

Etymology unknown

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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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