Short Cuts

Words for short, cut and related things in Celtic languages:

Scout Cardigan Corgi

Proto-Celtic *birros = short
Old Irish (Goídelc) berr [bʲer͈] = short
berraid = to shear, clip, shave, cut, shear, tonsure
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) berr, bearr = short
berrad = to cut, clip, shave, cut, tonsure
Irish (Gaeilge) bearr [bʲɑːɾˠ/bʲaːɾˠ] = to clip, cut, trim, cut (hair), shave, fleece (sb)
bearradh = cutting
bearrthóir = trimmer, shearer
bearrthóireacht = trimming, cutting speech
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) beàrr = short, brief (archaic)
beàrr [bjaːr̪ˠ] = to cut, shave, crop, shear, pare, prune, clip, poll, dehorn
Manx (Gaelg) baarey = to bare, clip, cut, dress, poll, prune, shave, trimmed
baareyder = barber, cutter, shaver, clipper
baarys = tonsure
Gaulish *birros = a coarse kind of thick woollen cloth; a woollen cap or hood worn over the shoulders or head<
Proto-Brythonic *bɨrr [ˈbɨr͈] = short
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) birr, byrr = short, small, brief
bŷr-brŷd = a short meal of meat
uyrder, byrder = shortness, brevity
Welsh (Cymraeg) byr [bɨ̞r/bɪr] = short, small, brief, concise, condensed, abrupt, curt, stingy, sparing, deficient, faulty
byrbryd = light meal, lunch, snack
byrbwyll = rash, reckless, thoughtless
byrder = shortness, brevity, smallness, conciseness, scarity, deficiency
byrdra = shortness, brevity, smallness, curtness
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) ber = short, diminutive, brief
beranal = asthma, shortness of breath
Cornish (Kernewek) berr [bɛɹ] = short, brief
berrhe = to abbreviate, shorten
berrheans = abrreviation
berrskrifa = to summarise
berrwelyek = short-sighted
Middle Breton (Brezonec) berr, ber, bèr = short, brief
berr-ha-berr = very short, shortly briefly
berraat = to shorten, abbreivate, reduce
berradenn = shortening
berradur = abbreviation
Breton (Brezhoneg) berr = short, brief
berr-ha-berr = very short, shortly briefly
berradenn = shortening
berradur = abbreviation

Etymology: unknown

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root, via Latin and Gaulish, include beret in English, béret (beret) in French, berret (cap) in Gascon, biretta (a square cap worm by Roman Catholic priests) in English and Italian, berretto (beanie, cap) in Italian, barrete (biretta, cap) in Portuguese, birrete (biretta) in French, and βίρρος [ˈβir.ros] (a type of cloak or mantle) in Ancient Greek [source].

Proto-Celtic *gerros = short
*gari- = short
Old Irish (Goídelc) gerr, gearr = short, a short time, castrated
gerraid = to cut, mutilate, shorten, carve
garait [ˈɡarədʲ] = short
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) gerr [ɡʲer͈] = short
gairaid = to cut short, cut off, mutilate
garit, garait, gairit = short (time/distance/length)
Irish (Gaeilge) gearr [ɟɑːɾˠ/ɟaːɾˠ] = short; to cut, shorten, reduce
gearrachán = cutting remark
gearradh = cutting, cut, levy, rate, speed
gearrán = gelding, pack-horse, small horse, nag, strong-boned woman
gearróg = short bit, scrap, short drill or furrow, short stocky girl, short answer
gearrthóg = cutting, snippet, trimmings, cutlet
gearrthóir = cutter, chisel
gairid [ˈɡaɾʲədʲ] = short, near, close
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) geàrr [gʲaːr̪ˠ] = short, thick-set, squat, dumpy, brief, concise, succinct, scanty; to cut, carve, sever, dock
goirid [gɤrʲɪdʲ] = short, brief, brusque
giorraich [gʲir̪ɪç] = abbreviate, abrige, shorten, curtail
giorrachadh [gʲir̪ˠəxəɣ] = abbreviation, abridgement, summary
Manx (Gaelg) giare = abbreviated, abridged, abrupt, brief, brusque, compact, concise, curt, short, summary
giarey = to abbreviate, abridge, axe, carve castrate, clip, cut
girraghey = to abbreviate, abridge, contract, shorten

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer- (short). Words from the same PIE root include ह्रस्व [ˈɦɾɐs̪.ʋɐ] (short, small, dwarfish, little, low; a dwarf) in Sanskrit, and ह्रस्व [ɦɾəs̪.ʋᵊ] (a short vowel) in Hindi, and possibly girl in English [source].

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, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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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