Lakes and Ponds

Words for lakes, ponds and related things in Celtic languages.

Llyn Idwal

Proto-Celtic *lindā = pool, lake
Gaulish lindon = pool, lake; sea, ocean
Old Irish (Goídelc) lind [l̠ʲiːn̠ʲ / l̠ʲɪn̠ʲ] = pool, pond, body of water, lake, sea
Irish (Gaeilge) linn = pool, pond, body of water, lake, sea
linn mhuilinn = mill-pond
linn lachan = duck pond
linneach = full of pools, watery
linneolaíocht = limnology (freshwater science)
linntreog = small pool, puddle, pot-hole
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) linne [l̪ʲin̪ʲə] deep pool; strait, sound, firth
linne-thuathal, faochag-linne = whirlpool
Linne Giùdain = Firth of Forth
Linne Shalmhaigh = Solway Firth
éisg-linn = fishpond
Manx (Gaelg) lhingey = pool, pond, backwater
lhingey chassee = small whirlpool
lhingey eeast = fishpond
Proto-Brythonic *llɨnn = lake, liquid
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llynn = lake, liquid
Welsh (Cymraeg) llyn [ɬɨ̞n/ɬɪn] = lake, pool, pond, puddle, moat
llyn anoddun = bottomless pit, the deep
llyn melin = mill pond
llyn tro = whirlpool
Old Cornish lin = lake
Cornish (Kernewek) lynn, lydn = lake
Old Breton lin = lake
Breton (Brezhoneg) lenn = lake, basin, washhouse, fishpond, body of water

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *liH-nd-o-/*liH-nd-u [source].

These words appear in places names such as Lincoln in England, Dublin in Ireland, Lintgen in Luxembourg, Limmat – a river in Switzerland (originally Lindimacus), and possibly strong>Lindern in Germany.

Proto-Celtic *loku = lake, pool
Old Irish (Goídelc) loch [l͈ox] = lake, inlet of the sea
Irish (Gaeilge) loch [l̪ˠɔx] = lake, pool, (body of) water, arm of the sea, lough, fiord
lochach = having (many) lakes
lochán = small lake, pond
lochánach = having (many) small lakes
loch-chuach = lake basin
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) loch [l̪ˠɔx] = loch, lake
lochach = pertaining to or abounding in lochs/lakes
lochan = small lake, loch
loch-mara = sea loch
loch-tasgaidh = reservoir
loch-uisge = freshwater loch/lake
feur-lochan = small grassy loch (which tends to dry up)
Manx (Gaelg) logh [laːx] = lake, lough, loch, arm of the sea
loghan = small lake, pond, dam, tank, dock, pool
loghanagh = full of lakes
logh-hailjey = saltwater lake
logh-ushtey = freshwater lake
Old Welsh lichou = lake, pool
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) luch, lluch = lake, pool
Welsh (Cymraeg) llwch [ɬuːχ] = lake, pool, stagnant water, bog, swamp, marsh, mud, mire, grime, filth, dung
Cornish (Kernewek) logh = inlet
Middle Breton laguenn = flooded field
Breton (Brezhoneg) loc’h = pond, lagoon, flooded meadow

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *lókus (pond, pool), which is also the root of the Icelandic lögur (liquid, fluid, lake, sea), and words for lake in Romance languages, including lac in French, Occitan and Romanian, and lago in Galician, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese [source].

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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Words for bread and related words in Celtic languages.

Soda Bread

Proto-Celtic *ar(-akno)- = bread
Old Irish (Goídelc) arán [ˈaraːn] = bread, loaf of bread
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) arán [ˈaraːn] = bread
Irish (Gaeilge) arán [əˈɾˠɑːn̪ˠ / ˈaɾˠanˠ] = bread
arán baile = home-baked bread
arán bán = white bread, baker’s bread
arán coirce = oatbread, oatcake
arán donn, arán rua = brown bread
arán prátaí = potato cake
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) aran [aɾan] = bread, loaf; livelihood, sustenance
aran-coircearan-donn, aran ruadharan-eòrnaaran milisaran-seagail
Manx (Gaelg) arran = bread
arran Albinagh = shortbread
arran bainney = bread roll
arran bane = white bread
arran dhone, arran ruy = brown bread
arran greddan(it) = toast
arran shoggyl = rye bread

Etymology: from the Proto-Celtic *arankā- (grain) [source].

Proto-Celtic *bargo / *baragenā / *barginā = cake, bread
Old Irish (Goídelc) barigen [ˈˈbarʲ.ɣʲən] = bread, loaf of bread
Irish (Gaeilge) bairín = loaf
bairín breac = barmbreac
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bairghin = bread, cake
Manx (Gaelg) berreen = cake
Welsh (Cymraeg) bara [ˈbara / ˈbaːra] = bread, loaf, slice; food, meal, sustenance, livelihood
bara barlys = barley bread
bara beunyddiol = daily bread
bara brith = currant bread
bara byr = buscuit
bara ceirch = oat bread, oatcake
bara coch = brown bread, barley bread
bara drwg = bad bread, bad state, difficulties
bara gwyn = white bread
bara lawr = laverbread (made with edible seaweed)
bara poeth = gingerbread, hot bread
Old Cornish bara = bread
Cornish (Kernewek) bara = bread
bara byghan/bian = roll
bara gwaneth = wheaten bread
bara leun = wholemeal bread
bara sugal = rye bread
Breton (Brezhoneg) bara [ˈbɑː.ra] = bread
bara bis = brown bread
bara brazed = wholemeal bread
bara brizh = currant bread
bara gwenn = white bread
bara kras = toast

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰars- (spike, prickle). Words from the same root include the English barley, the Scots bere/beir (barley), the Swedish barr (pine/fir needle), the Icelandic barr (pine needle), the Old Norse barr (corn, grain, barley), and the Latin far (spelt, coarse meal, grits), and words for flour in Romance languages, such as farine in French [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

You can find the origins of the English words bread and loaf on Radio Omniglot.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary,, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis


Words for dwelling / settlement / town in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *trebā = dwelling
Gaulish Atrebates = name of a tribe
Old Irish (Goídelc) treb = house, farm; household; tribe
Irish (Gaeilge) treibh [ˈtʲɾʲɛv] = house, homestead, farmstead; household, family; tribe, race
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) treabh [tro] = farming village
treubh [treːv] = tribe
Proto-Brythonic *treβ [ˈtrɛːβ] = town, settlement
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) tref [ˈtrɛːβ] = town, settlement
Welsh (Cymraeg) tre(f) [treːv] = town; town centre; dwelling(-place), habitation, residence, home; house (and surrounding land), homestead, farm, estate, cluster of houses; township; tribe
Cornish (Kernewek) trev [trɛ:v /tre:v] = farmsteads (singular: treven)
Old Breton treff = town, settlement
Breton (Brezhoneg) trev = town

Meni Bridge / Porthaethwy

From the Proto-Indo-European *treb- (dwelling, settlement) [source].

This is also the root of the archaic English word thorp(e) (a group of houses standing together in the country; a hamlet; a village), which appears in place names such as Milnthorpe and Scunthorpe.

Related words in other languages include German Dorf (hamlet, village, town), Danish torp (village), Swedish torp (farm, cottage, croft), Icelandic þorp (village, farm), and Albanian trevë (country, region, village) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag,, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau