Words for plough* and related things in Celtic languages.


*plough = plow for those of you in North America.

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *aratrom = plough
Old Irish (Goídelc) arathar = plough, ploughing equipment, tillage
airid = to plough
airem = ploughman
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) arathar = plough, ploughing equipment, tillage
airem = ploughman, tiller
airid = to plough, till
airithe = ploughed
Irish (Gaeilge) arathar = ploughing equipment, plough, ploughing (literary)
air = plough (literary)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) àrach [aːrəx] = ploughshare, utensils for ploughing (archaic)
Manx (Gaelg) erroo = ploughman, tiller of land
errooid = cultivation, tillage, ploughmanship
Proto-Brythonic *aradr [aˈradr] = plough
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) aratrum, aradyr, aradr, aratr = plough
aradrur, aradrwr = ploughman
aradỽy, aradwy = arable or ploughed land
Welsh (Cymraeg) aradr [ˈaradr/ˈaːradr] = plough, the Plough
aradraf, aradu = to plough, till, cultivate
aradrswch = ploughshare
araduriaeth = (act of) ploughing, ploughmanship
aradrwr = ploughman
aradrwy = arable or ploughed land
Old Cornish aradar = plough
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) aradar, ardar, aratum = plough
araderuur, arator = ploughmen
aras = to plough, till
Cornish (Kernewek) arader = plough
araderor = ploughman
aradow = arable
aras = to plough
Middle Breton (Brezonec) ararz, arazr = plough
Breton (Brezhoneg) arar [ˈɑːrar] = plough
aradeg = ploughing, ploughing competition
aradenn = ploughing, surge of anger
arat = to plough, spin

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *h₂érh₃trom (plough), from *h₂erh₃- (to plough) and *-trom (instrumental suffix). Words from the same roots include ard (a simple plough consisting of a spike dragged through the soil) in English, arður (plough, profit, gain) in Icelandic, årder (plough) in Swedish, ader (plough) in Estonian and arado (plough) in Spanish [source].

Proto-Celtic *kanktus / *kanxtus = plough, plough beam
Old Irish (Goídelc) cécht = plough-beam
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) cécht, cecht = plough-beam, plough
Irish (Gaeilge) céachta [ˈkeːx.t̪ˠə] = plough
céachtaíl = ploughing
céachtaire = ploughwright
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ceuchd = plough (obsolete)
Manx (Gaelg) keeaght [ˈki.axt] = plough

Etymology: from Proto-Celtic *kankā (branch), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱank- (branch). Words from the same roots include géag (branch, bough, limb) in Irish, cainc (branch) in Welsh, gancio (hook) in Italian, and gancho (hook, peg) in Spanish [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) trebaid = to cultivate, till, plough, inhabit
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) trebad = (act of) ploughing cultivating, husbandry
trebaid = to cultivate, till, plough, inhabit, dwell
Irish (Gaeilge) treabh [ˈtʲɾʲavˠ/ˈtʲɾʲəu] = to plough; till, cultivate, occupy, inhabit (literary)
treabhadh = ploughing
treabhdóir = ploughman
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) treabh [tro] = to till (the ground), plough, cultivate, delve
treabhadh = ploughing
treabhta = ploughed, tilled, cultivated
Manx (Gaelg) traaue = to plough (up), till, furrow, cleave, ploughing, tilling
traauee = ploughing, contributing, to tillage
traaueyder = ploughman

Etymology: from Old Irish treb (house(hold), farm, tribe), from Proto-Celtic *trebā (dwelling), from Proto-Indo-European *treb- (dwelling, settlement) [source]. For more related words, see the post about Towns and Tribes.

Middle Welsh (Kymraec) gwyd, guyd = (wooden frame of a) plough
Welsh (Cymraeg) gwŷdd [ɡwɨːð] = plough (North Wales), tree(s), branches, timber, masts, loom
Etymology: from Proto-Brythonic *gwɨð (wood, trees), from Proto-Celtic *widus (wood, trees), from PIE *h₁weydʰh₁- (to separate, split, cleave, divide) [source]. For more related words, see the post about Trees, Wood(s) and Forests.

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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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