Pickaxe

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

Claes Oldenburg

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Middle Irish (Gaoidhleag) píce = pole, pike
pícóid = mattock, pickaxe
Irish (Gaeilge) píce [ˈpʲiːcɪ] = pike, fork, peak
píceáil = pike, fork, pitchfork, peak
píceálaí = forker, pitcher
píceán = peak, tip
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) pic, pìc [piːçgʲ] = pike
pìceach [piːçgʲəx] = armed with pikes, abounding in pikes
pìcear = pikeman
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) pig = point, spike, pike
pigo = to prick, pierce, goad, peck, sting, bite
pigawd = a thrusting or stabbing with a spear, a pricking
Welsh (Cymraeg) pig [piːɡ] = point, spike, pike, lance, pick(axe), prong, beak
pigach = darts
pigadail = obelisk, spire, pyramid, cone
pigaf, pigo = to prick, pierce, goad, peck, sting, bite
pig(i)aid = as much as can be picked up or carried on a pitchfork, beakful
pigau = pitchfork, hay-fork
pigawd = a thrusting or stabbing with a spear, a pricking
pigell = goad, prick, prickle
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) piga = to prick, prickle, sting
pigol = mattock, pick, pickaxe
Cornish (Kernewek) pig = grub axe, grubber, pick, pickaxe, pickle
piga = to goad, incite, sting
pigell = hoe, pick(axe), pickle
pigallas = to hoe
pigellik = picker
Middle Breton (Brezonec) pig = pickaxe
Breton (Brezhoneg) pik = piquant, point, pique
pikañ = to sting, bite, pinch
pikezenn = pike, spade (in cards)
pigell = pickaxe

Etymology (Irish): from Old French pik(k)e, from Latin pīcca (pickace, pike), possibly from Frankish *pikkōn (to peck, strike), or from Frankish *pīk (sharp point, pike), from Proto-Germanic *pīkaz (sharp point, pike, pickaxe, peak) probably of imitative origin [source].

Etymology (Scottish Gaelic, Welsh & Cornish): probably from English pike or the Middle English pyke (pike, sharp point), which ultimately come from the same Proto-Germanic roots as pik(k)e in Old French.

Words from the same roots include peck, pick, pike, pique, pitch in English [source].

Irish (Gaeilge) caib [kɑbʲ/kabʲ] = dibble
caibeáil = to plant with an implement, dibble
caibeáilaí = planter (of seed), dibbler
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) caibe [kɛbə] = space, mattock, iron part of tools
caibe-sìthe = fairy spade (amulet given to sick people & cattle)
Manx (Gaelg) kiebbey = spade, mattock
Old Welsh cep = pickaxe, mattock, hoe, ploughshare
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) keyp, keib, caib = pickaxe, mattock, hoe, ploughshare
Welsh (Cymraeg) caib = pickaxe, mattock, hoe, ploughshare
caib garddwr = hoe
caib big, caib bicys = pickaxe

Etymology: unknown

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, Lexicon Cornu-britannicum: A Dictionary of the Ancient Celtic Language of Cornwall, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Booths

Words for booths, huts and related things in Celtic languages:

Bothy

Proto-Celtic *butā = place, dwelling, hut
Old Irish (Goídelc) both [boθ] = hut, cabin
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) both = hut, bothy, cot, cabin
bothach = full of huts/hovels, hovel-like; crofter
bothán = little hut, cabin, cottage
Irish (Gaeilge) both [bˠɔ(h)/bˠoh]= booth, hut
bothach = hutted, full of huts
bothán = shanty, cabin, hut, shed, coop
bothánach = given to visiting and gossiping
bothánaí = a frequenter of neighbours’ houses
bothánaíocht = (act of) visiting houses for pastime or gossip
bothóg = shanty, cabin
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bothan [bɔhan] = cottage, hut, bothy, hovel, shed
bothag [bɔhag] = bothy, small hut, hovel, playhouse
bùth [buː] = shop, booth
bùthan [buː.an] = small booth, small bothy, tent
bùthach [buː.əx] = pertaining to or abounding in shops/booths
bùthanach [buː.anəx] = one who dwells in a small bothy or tent, tent-dweller
Manx (Gaelg) bwaane = booth, cottage, hovel, hut, kiosk, outhouse, shack, shanty, shed
bwaag = booth, bower, cabin, lodge, hut, pavilion, shed
booage = booth, tent
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) bod, bot, bôd = permanent home, dwelling place, residence, abode
bwth = cabin, booth, cottage
Welsh (Cymraeg) bod = permanent home, dwelling place, residence, abode
bwd = booth, cottage, cabin
bwth = cabin, booth, cottage, shed, hut, outhouse, shack
bwthyn = booth, cot, cottage, hut
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) bod, bos, bo- = a dwelling house (found in place names)
bôth = hut, booth
bothoc = hut, cottage
Middle Breton (Brezonec) bôt, bod = residence, refuge, asylum
Breton (Brezhoneg) bod = cottage, dwelling

Etymology: the Proto-Celtic word *butā might come from an unknown language, or from the same PIE root as booth [source].

Etymology (Scottish Gaelic bùth and Welsh bwth): from the Middle English bothe (a store, kiosk, booth, shack, cabin), from the Old Norse búð (booth, shop), from the Proto-Germanic *bōþō/*bōþǭ (buidling, dwelling), from the PIE *bʰuH- (to become, grow, appear) [source].

Words from the same roots include búð (shop, tent, pavilion) in Icelandic, bothy (a primitive dwelling or shelter) in Scots, booth in English, Bude (booth, stall, kiosk, shack, hut) and Baude (mountain hut or inn) in German, bouda (hut, shack, lodge, cabin, booth, stall) in Czech, and bod (shed, shack, shop) in Swedish [source].

Incidentally, the German word Baude comes from Silesian German, from the Czech bouda, from the Old Czech būda, from Middle High German buode, from the Proto-Germanic *bōþō/*bōþǭ [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

Prison

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

Carchar Lisbon / Lisbon Prison

Old Irish (Goídelc) carcar [ˈkarkar] = prison, captivity
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) carcar = prison, captivity, bondage, strong-room
Irish (Gaeilge) carcair [ˈkaɾˠkəɾʲ] = prison, place of confinement; stall, pen
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) carcair [karxgɛrʲ] = prison, coffer, sink, sewer, hermit’s cell
Manx (Gaelg) carchyr = imprisonment, jail
carchyragh = gaolbird, prisoner
Proto-Brythonic *karxar = prison, jail
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) karchar, carchar, carcar = prison, gaol
karcharaur, carcharawr = prisoner
Welsh (Cymraeg) carchar [ˈkarχar] = prison, gaol, pen, stable, bond, fetter, band, chain, hobble, restriction, obstruction, impediment, constipation
carcharbwll = dungeon, prison-pit
carchardy = prison house, gaol
carchardig = imprisoned, incarcerated, confined
carchardigaeth = imprisonment, confinement
carchargell = prison cell
carchariad = imprisonment, confinement
carchariad, carcharor = prisoner
carcharu = to imprison, impound, confine, shackle, fetter, hobble, restrict, obstruct
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) carhar = jail, prison
Middle Breton (Brezonec) carchar, charc’har, karc’har = prison, jail
karc’hariañ = to imprison
karc’hariadigezh = imprisonment
Breton (Brezhoneg) karc’har = dungeon
karc’harel = prison
karc’hariañ = to imprison
karc’hariadigezh = imprisonment

Etymology: from Latin carcer (prison, jail, jailbird, beginning, starting gate), from Proto-Italic *karkos (enclosure, barrier), from PIE *kr̥-kr̥- (circular), a reduplication of *(s)ker- (to turn, bend) [source].

Words from the same Latin root include incarcerate in English, carcere (jail, prison, imprisonment) in Italian, cárcere (jail, prison) in Portuguese, kerker (dungeon) in Dutch, and карцер (lockup, punishment cell, sweatbox) in Russian [source].

English words from the same PIE roots include circle, circus, corona, crisp, cross, crown and ring [source].

Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) prísún, brísún = prison
prísúntacht = imprisonment
Irish (Gaeilge) príosún [ˈpʲɾʲiːsˠuːn̪ˠ] = prison, imprisonment
príosúnach = prisoner
príosúnacht = imprisonment
príosúnaigh = to imprison
príosúnú = imprisonment
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) prìosan [prʲiːsən] = prison, jail
prìosanach = prisoner
prìosanachadh = imprisoning, incarcerating
Manx (Gaelg) pryssoon = brig, gaol, glasshouse, jail, lock-up, penitentiary, prison, clink
pryssoonagh = captive, detainee, internee, prisoner
pryssoonaght = detention, imprisonment, incarceration
pryssooneyder = gaoler imprisoner
Cornish (Kernewek) prison = gaol, jail, prison
prisonya = to imprison, incarcerate
prisonyans = imprisonment
Middle Breton (Brezonec) prizon = prison, jail
prizoniad = prisoner, detained
prizoniadur, prizonierezh = imprisonment
prizon(i)añ = to imprison
prizon(i)er = prisoner
Breton (Brezhoneg) prizon = prison, jail
prizoniad = prisoner, detained
prizoniañ = to imprison

Etymology: from the Middle English prisoun (prison, jail, dungeon), from the Anglo-Norman pris(o)un (prison, jail, dungeon), from the Old French prison (prison) from the Latin prehensiō (seizing, apprehending, arresting, capturing), from prehendō (to seize). The Breton probably comes directly from Old French [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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Boots and Shoes

Today we’re looking at words for boots, shoes and related things in Celtic languages.

John Baker's Brogue Ankle Boot / Schnürstiefelette Kalbsleder braun (brown) (1)

Old Irish (Goídelc) bróc(c) [broːɡ] = shoe, sandal, greave; (in plural) greaces, leggings, hose, breeches
Irish (Gaeilge) bróg [bˠɾˠoːɡ/bˠɾˠɔːɡ] = boot, shoe
bróg ard = boot
bróg iseal = shoe
bróg adhmaid/mhaide = clog
brógchrann = boot-tree
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bròg [brɔːg] = shoe, boot, hoof
brògair [brɔːgɪrʲ] = shoemaker, cobbler
brògach [brɔxgəx] = abounding in shoes, shod, strong-hoofed, animal with “socks”
bròg-fhiodha = clog, wooden shoe
brògan put = football boots
bròg-eich = horseshoe
bròg-spéilidh = ice skate
bròg na cuthaige = bluebell, wild hyacinth (“shoe of the cuckoo”)
cho sona ri bròg = as happy as Larry (“as happy as a shoe”)
Manx (Gaelg) braag = brogue, shoe
braagit = shod
braag lheiltys = gym shoe
braag shliawin = ice skate
braag vaidjagh = clog
Welsh (Cymraeg) brog = brogue
brog Gwyddelig = Irish brogue

Etymology: from the Old Norse brók (trousers, breeches) or the Old English brōc (underpants), both of which come from the Proto-Germanic *brōks (rear end, rump, leggings, pants, trousers), from the PIE *bʰreg- (to break, crack, split) [source].

The English word brogue was borrowed from Irish and refers to a type of shoe, or a strong accent, particularly a strong Irish accent when speaking English, although it originally referred to Irish spoken with a strong English accent, or a heavy shoe of untanned leather.

Brogue in the sense of accent might come from the Irish word barróg (hug, wrestling grip, brogue, impediment of speech) [source], which comes from the Old Irish barróc (fast hold, tight grip, embrace, gripe, stitch) [source],

Proto-Celtic *fesskūtā = (leather) boot, shoe
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) eskyd, eskit, escid = boot, buskin, shoe
Welsh (Cymraeg) esgid [ˈɛskɪd] = boot, buskin, shoe
esgidiaf, esgidio = to put on one’s boots or shoes, to shoe
esgidiedig / esgidiog = shod
esgidiwr = shoemaker, bootmaker
esgidiau blewog = fur-lined boots
esgidau byclau = buckled shoes
esgidiau eira = show boots/shoes
esgidiau nos = slippers
esgid(iau) Gwyddel(od) = brogue(s)
esgid goed, esgidiau coed = wooden-soled shoes, clogs
esgidiau’r gog/gwcw = Bluebell, Wild Hyacinth
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) escid, esgis, eskas = shoe
Cornish (Kernewek) eskis = shoe
eskis sport = trainer, sports shoe
eskisyow kron = slingbacks

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *ped-skuHto-, from *ped- (to walk, step) and *skuH-t- (skin, hide) [source].

Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) cúarán = shoe, sock
Irish (Gaeilge) cuarán = sandal
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cuaran [kuəran] = sandal, bangage, toecap, sock
Manx (Gaelg) carrane = hide sandal, sandal, slipper
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) cuaran, kuaran, curan = boot, buskin
Welsh (Cymraeg) cu(a)ran, cwaran = boot, buskin
curanog = buskined

Etymology: the Welsh words were borrowed from Irish. The words in the other languages possibly come from the Middle Irish cúar (curved, bent, crooked) from the Proto-Celtic *kukro- (curved), from the Proto-Indo-European *kewk- (to elevate, height) [source].

Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bòtann [bɔːhdən̪ˠ] = boot (esp. rubber boot, wellington)
bòtais [bɔːhdɪʃ] = boot
bùtais [buːhdɪʃ] = boot
Manx (Gaelg) bootys = boot
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) botys, botes, botas, bottas = greave(s), shackle, boot, wader
Welsh (Cymraeg) bot(i)as, bwtias = greave(s), shackle, boot, wader
botasbren = bootjack, boot-tree
botasog = wearing boots or greaves
botaswr = bootmaker, shoemaker
Cornish (Kernewek) botas = boot
botas palvek = flippers
botas stanch = wellies
Middle Breton (Brezonec) botez, botes, botés = shoe
Breton (Brezhoneg) botez = shoe, clog
botour = shoemaker, cobbler
botaouiñ = to shoe
botez-prenn = clog, wooden shoe
botezioù = hoof, sole

Etymology: (via English) from the Old French bote (boot), from the Frankish *butt, from Proto-Germanic *but(t)az (cut off, short, numb, blunt), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰewt-/*bʰewd- (to strike, push, shock”) [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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Flour

In this post we’re looking into words for flour and related things in Celtic languages.

Skiing slope of flour

Proto-Celtic *mlātos = flour
Gaulish *blatos = flour
Proto-Brythonic *blọd = flour
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) blawd, blaỼt = flour
Welsh (Cymraeg) blawd = flour, meal, powder
blawdaidd = mealy, floury, friable
blodiaf, blawdiaf, blawdio = to grind into meal, produce flour, become powdery, turn to dust, sprinkle (with) flour
blodiwr, blawdiwr = flour or meal merchant
Old Cornish blot = flour, meal
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) blot, blês = flour, meal
Cornish (Kernewek) bleus = flour
bleus hesken = sawdust
bleus leun = wholemeal
bleusa = to flour
Old Breton (Brethonoc) blot = flour
Middle Breton (Brezonec) bleut = flour, powder
Breton (Brezhoneg) bleud = flour, powder
bleudañ = to flour
bleudek = floury
bleud brazed = wholemeal flour
bleud goellet = self-raising flour
bleud gwinizh = wheat flour

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *ml̥h₂-tó-s, from *melh₂- (to crush, grind) [source]. Words from the same root include melancholy and melanin in English, and μελανός (melanós – black, dark, blue, bruised) in Greek [source].

Old Irish (Góidelc) men = flour
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) men, min = flour, meal, fine powder, dust
Irish (Gaeilge) min [ˈmʲɪnʲ/ˈmʲɨ̞nʲ] = meal; powedered matter
min choirce = oatmeal
min chruithneachta = wheatmeal
min sáibh = sawdust
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) min [min] = flour, meal, grounds, filings
min-fhlùir = flour
min-eòrna = barley flour/meal
min-sheagail = rye flour
min-chruithneachd = wheat flour
muileann-mine = flour mill
Manx (Gaelg) meinn = meal
meinn chorkey = oatmeal
meinn churnaght = wheatmeal flour
meinn hoggyl = rye meal
meinn oarn = barley meal
meinn saaue = sawdust

Etymology: unknown

Middle Welsh (Kymraec) peyllyeyt, peillit = flour
Welsh (Cymraeg) paill = pollen, flour
peill(i)aid = flour, fine flour, wheat flour, white flour, powder
peilliaid gwenith = (fine) wheat flour
peilliaid haidd = barley flour
peilliaid rhyg = rye flour

Etymology: from the Latin pollen (fine flower, powder, dust), from the Proto-Indo-European *pel- (flour, dust) [source].

Words from the same roots, via the Latin pulvis (dust, powder, ashes), include polve (dust, ashes) in Italian, polvo (dust, powder) in Spanish, poussière (dust) in French, and pulverise (to render into dust or powder) in English [source].

Irish (Gaeilge) plúr [pˠlˠuːɾˠ] = flour, flower
plúr geal = white flour
plúr cruithneachta = wheaten flour
plúrach = floury, farinaceous; flower-like, pretty
plúraigh = to effloresce
plúróg = pretty girl
plúrscoth = choicest flower, pick, choice
plúrú = efflorescence
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) flùr [fl̪ˠuːr] = flour
flùr lom = plain flour
flùr-éirigh = self-raising flour
Manx (Gaelg) flooyr = flour
flooyr churnaght = wheaten flour
grine-flooyr = cornflour
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) fflwr = flour
Welsh (Cymraeg) fflŵr [fluːr], fflowr = flour (in South Wales)
fflŵr can = wheat flour

Etymology: from the Anglo-Norman flur (flower), from the Old French flor (flower), from the Latin flōrem (flower), from flōs (flower, blossom), from Proto-Italic *flōs (flower, blossom), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₃- (flower, blossom) [source].

Words from the same PIE roots include flour, flower, flora, blossom and bloom in English, blé (flour) and fleur (flower) in French, and blat (wheat) in Catalan [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Servants

Words for servants, ploughmen and related people in Celtic languages.

Tour Scotland March Horse Ploughing

Proto-Celtic *ambaxtos = servant
Gaulish *ambaxtos = vassal, high-ranking servant
Old Irish (Goídelc) amus = servant
amsach = mercenary
Irish (Gaeilge) amhas = hireling, servant, mercenary, hooligan
amhsach = wild, unruly
amhasóireacht = hooliganism
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) amhas [au.əs] = savage, wild person, madman
amhsach = wild, uncontrollable, stupid, dull
Proto-Brythonic *ammaɨθ [amˈmaɨ̯θ] = servant, worker, labourer
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) amaeth = ploughman, husbandman, farmer, agriculture
Welsh (Cymraeg) amaeth [ˈameɨ̯θ / ˈamei̯θ] = ploughman, husbandman, farmer, agriculture, ploughmanship, tillage
amaethadwy = farmable, cultivable
amaetha(f), amaethu = to farm, husband, plough, cultivate
amaethdir = arable land, land suitable for cultivation, farm land
amaethdy = farmhouse
amaethddyn = agriculturalist, farmer
amaethedig = farmed, cultivated, cultured
amaethyddiaeth = agriculture, farming
Cornish (Kernewek) ammeth = agriculture, farming
Old Breton ambaith = agriculture, farming

Etymology: from the Proto-Celtic *ambi- (around),‎ *ageti (to drive) and‎ *-os, from the Proto-Indo-European word *h₂m̥bʰi-h₂eǵ- (drive around) [source].

The English word amassador comes from the same root, via the Middle English ambassadore from the Anglo-Norman ambassadeur (ambassador), from the Old Italian ambassadore, from the Old Occitan ambaisador (ambassador), from ambaissa (service, mission, errand), from the Medieval Latin ambasiator (ambassador), from the Gothic 𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌱𐌰𐌷𐍄𐌹 (andbahti – service, function), from the Proto-Germanic *ambahtaz (servant), from the Gaulish *ambaxtos [source]. The word embassy comes from the same Gaulish word [source].

Proto-Celtic *wastos = servant
Gaulish *wassos = young man, squire
Old Irish (Goídelc) foss = attendant, man-servant, servant
Proto-Brythonic *gwass = boy, servant
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) guas, gwas = boy, lad, servant
Welsh (Cymraeg) gwas [ɡwaːs] = boy, lad, stripling, youngster, young man; servant, attendant, employee, officer, vassal, slave
gwasanaeth = service, attendance, a ministering, office, duty, employment
gwasanaethu = to serve, be a servant, attend, wait upon, minister
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) guas = servant
gwas = a youth, servant, one of the common people, a mean person, a fellow, rogue, rascal
gwasanaeth = attendance, service, bondage, slavery
Cornish (Kernewek) gwas = chap, fellow, guy, servant
gwas hwel = workman
gwas ti = housemaker
Old Breton guos = vassal, man, husband, farmer
Middle Breton goas = vassal, man, husband, farmer (who rents a farm)
Breton (Brezhoneg) gwaz [ˈɡwaːs] = (young) man, vassal, valet, servant, husband, mermaid

Etymology: possibly comes from the Proto-Indo-European word *upo-sth₂-o-s (standing beneath) [source].

The English word vassal comes from the same Celtic roots, via the Old French vassal, the Medieval Latin vassallus (manservant, domestic, retainer), from the Latin vassus (servant) from the Gaulish *wassos [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) seirbísech = auxiliary, ancillary, servant, agent
Irish (Gaeilge) seirbhíseach = servant
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) seirbheiseach [ʃerʲevɪʃəx] = servant, servitor
seirbheisiche = servant
Manx (Gaelg) shirveishagh = attendant, clergyman, minister, servant, server, vassal

Etymology: from the Old French servise (service, servitude, vasselage), from the Latin servitium (slavery, servitude, service), from servus (servant, serf, slave) [source]

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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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Rotten Fragrance

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

Rotten wood

Proto-Celtic *bragnos = rotten
Gaulish brennos = rotten
Old Irish (Gaoidhealg) brén [bʲrʲeːn] = foul, putrid, rotten, stinking
Irish (Gaeilge) bréan [bʲɾʲiːa̯nˠ / bʲɾʲeːnˠ] = foul, putrid, rotten; to pollute, putrefy
bréanlach = filthy place, cesspool
bréanóg = refuse heap
bréantachán = stinker
bréantas = rottenness, stench, filth
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) breun [brʲeːn] = foetid, putrid, disgusting, filthy, nasty, stinking
breunlach = sinking bog
breunachd = corruption, rottenness
breunan = dunghill, dirty person, dirty/smelly object, crabbit/grumpy person, grouch
breunad = degree of foetidness/putridness, degree of disgustingness/filthiness/nastiness, degree of stink
breuntas = stench, stink, putrefaction, putridness
Manx (Gaelg) breinn = foetid, loathsome, malodorous, nasty, offensive, pestilential, putrid, rancid, rotten, smelly, stinking
breinnaghey = to become smelly, putrefy, taint, stink
Proto-Brythonic *braɨn = foul, stinking putrid
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) brean = rotten
Welsh (Cymraeg) braen [braːɨ̯n / brai̯n] = rotten, putrid, corrupt, mouldy, withered, fragile; rot, putrefaction, corruption, decay
braen(i)ad = rotting, decomposition, rottenness, putridness
braenu = to rot, putrefy, make/become corrupt, become mouldy
braenedig = rotten, putrefied, corrupt, festering, gangrenous, mouldy, wounded
Cornish (Kernewek) breyn = putrid, rotten
breyna = to decay, rot
breynans = decay
breynder = rot
Middle Breton brein = rotten
Breton (Brezhoneg) brein [ˈbrɛ̃jn] = rotten, uncultivated (land)
breinadur = corruption
breinañ, breiniñ = to rot, decay
breinidigezh = putrefaction

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰreHg- (to smell, have a strong odour) [source]. Words from the same PIE root include flair, fragrant, and bray in English, and брезгать (to be fastidious/squeamish, to disdain) in Russian [source].

The Gaulish word brennos was borrowed into Vulgar Latin and ended up as berner (to trick, fool, hoodwink) in French, via the Old French bren (bran, filth, excrement). The English word bran comes from the same Gaulish root, via the Middle English bran(ne) / bren and the Old French bren [source].

The Galician word braña (mire, bog, marsh, moorland) and the Asturian word braña (pasture, meadowland) are thought to come from the Proto-Celtic *bragnos, possibly via Celtiberian [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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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Brushes and Broom

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

brooms

Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) scúap [skuə̯b] = brush, broom, sheaf, bundle
scúapad = act of sweeping
scúapaire = sweeper
Irish (Gaeilge) scuab [sˠkuəbˠ] = besom, broom; brush; sheaf, armful, bundle; to sweep
scuabach = sweeping, flowing; gusty
scuabachán = sweeping, sweepings
scuabadh = to sweep, wash
scuabadóir = sweeper
scuabán = little besom, little brush, little sheaf, armful, bundle
scuab fiacla = toothbrush
scuab ghruaige = hairbrush
scuab ingne = nailbrush
scuab phéinte = paintbrush
sreangscuab = wire brush
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sguab [sguəb] = broom, besom, brush, sheaf
sguabte = brushed, swept
sguabanta = tidy, trim, clean
sguabadh = brushing, sweeping
sguabachan = brush
sguabag = gusty, wind, whisk, sheaf (of corn)
sguabadair = vacuum cleaner
sguabair = sweeper
sguab-aodaich = clothes brush
Manx (Gaelg) skeab = besom, broom
skeabey = brush, brushing, brush over, brush up, sweep, sweeping
skeabit = brushed, swept
skeaban daah, skeaban-slaa = paintbrush
skeaban feeackle = toothbrush
skeaban folt/fuilt = hairbrush
Proto-Brythonic *ɨskʉb = brush, broom
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) escup, yscub, ysgub = brush, broom
Welsh (Cymraeg) ysgub [ˈəsɡɨ̞b / ˈəsɡɪb] = sheaf, wheatsheaf, bundle; brush, broom, besom, quiver of arrows
ysgubell = brush, broom, besom, mop, bunch (of flowers)
ysgubo = to brush, sweep (away), make into sheaves
ysgubol = sweeping
ysgubor = barn, granary, farm building
ysgubwr = sweeper, sweep
ysgub blu = feather duster
priodas (coes) ysgub = informal wedding in which the parties jump over a broomstick in the presence of witnesses
Middle Cornish scibia = to sweep, brush
sciber = barn, any large room
scubilen = whip, scourge
Cornish (Kernewek) skub = sweeping
skubell, skubyllen = broom, brush
skubellik = paintbrush
skubell sugna = vacuum cleaner
skubell-wolghi = mop
skuber, skubores = sweeper
skubus = sweeping
skubya = to brush, sweep
skubyllen dhes = toothbrush
skubyon = refuse, sweepings
Breton (Brezhoneg) skub = broom, brush, blade; sweep
skubell = broom, brush, blade; sweep
skubell-vroust(añ) = scrubbing brush
skuberez = sweeper

Etymology: from the Latin scōpa (broom) Proto-Indo-European *skeh₂p- (to prop) [source]. Words from the same Latin root include scopa (broom) in Italian, escoba (broom) in Spanish, and shqopë (heather, heath, briar) in Albanian [source].

Broom

Proto-Celtic *banatlo- = broom (shrub)
Gaulish *balano- = broom (shrub)
Celtiberian *bálago-, *bálaco- = broom (shrub)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bealaidh [bɛl̪ˠɪn] = broom (shrub)
bealaidh-Frangach, bealaidh-Sasannach = laburnum
Proto-Brythonic *banatlo- = broom (shrub)
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) banadil, banadyl, banadl = broom (shrub)
Welsh (Cymraeg) banadl, banal = broom (shrub)
banadl Ffrainc = laburnum
Old Cornish banathel = broom (shrub)
Middle Cornish banal = broom (shrub)
Cornish (Kernewek) banadhel = broom (shrub)
Middle Breton balzazn = broom (shrub)
Breton (Brezhoneg) balan = broom (shrub)

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰenH-tlom (way, path) in the sense of “cleared path (in a wood)” [source].

The French word balai (broom, broomstick, brush) comes from the Gaulish *balano-, via Old French, Middle Breton and Old Breton [source]. The Spanish word bálago (straw, Spanish broom), comes from the same Gaulish root, via the Celtiberian *bálago-/*bálaco-,

The shrub known as broom in Britain and Ireland is also known as common broom or Scotch broom, or Cytisus scoparius in Latin. It is a deciduous leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe. Broom can also refer to similar plants, such as French broom and Spanish broom [source]. .

Twigs from the broom, and from other plants, can be tied to a stout stick and used to sweep things. Such implements are tradtionally known as besoms or broom besoms, and became known simply as brooms [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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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Metal

Today we’re looking at the words for metal, ore, mines and related things in Celtic languages.

The cave at Parys mountain.

Proto-Celtic *mēnis = ore, metal, mine
Old Irish (Goídelc) méin, mían [mʲeːnʲ] = mineral, ore, metal
Middle Irish (Goídelc) méin, mían [mʲeːnʲ] = mineral, ore, metal
míanach = vein of ore, mine
míanaige = miner
Irish (Gaeilge) mianach = ore; stuff, material, substance, quality
mianadóir = miner
mianrach = mineral
mianreolaí = mineralogist
mianreolaíocht = mineralogy
mianadóireacht = mining; burrowing, excavating, digging deep
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) mèinn [mɛːn̪ʲ] = mine, ore
mèinnear, mèinneadair = miner
mèinnireach = mineral
mèinn-guail = coal mine, colliery
mèinn-talmhainn = landmine
mèinn salainn = salt mine
mèinneadh = mining
mèinnearach = mining
mèinn-eòlas = mineralogy
mèinneadh = mineralogical
mèinnearach = mineralogist
Manx (Gaelg) meain = ore, mine
meainagh = ore
meain-oayllys, meaineraght = metallurgy
meain-oaylee, meaineraght = mineralogist
meain arih = gold mine
meain argid = silver mine
meain chobbyr = copper mine
meain gheayil = coal mine, colliery
meain hollan = salt mine
meain leoaie = lead mine
Proto-Brythonic *muɨn = ore, metal, mine
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) mwyn, mŵn = mineral, ore, mine
Welsh (Cymraeg) mwyn = mineral, ore, mine
mwynwr = miner, sapper
mwyn arian = silver ore, silver mine
mwyn aur = gold ore, gold mine
mwyn cellt = quartz
mwyn coch = red lead, red ochre, haematite, other red ores
mwyn copr = copper ore, copper mine
mywn du = blacklead, graphite
mwyn efydd = copper ore, copper mine
mwyn haearn = iron ore
Cornish (Kernewek) moon = fusible metal mineral, mineral
Middle Breton *men = iron
Breton (Brezhoneg) mengleuz = quarry, slate quarry, mine
mengleuzer = slate quarry worker
mengleuzerezh = mining industry
mengleuziañ = to mine
mengleuziek = mining
mengleuzier = quarryman

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: probably from the Proto-Indo-European *mēy(H)nis, from *(s)mēy(H)- (to cut, hew) [source].

The English word mine (an excavation from which ore or solid minerals are taken) comes from the same Proto-Celtic root, via the Old French myne, mine, the Late Latin mina and Gaulish [source].

Middle Irish (Goídelc) mital(l) = metal
Irish (Gaeilge) miotal [ˈmʲɪt̪ˠəlˠ] = metal; mettle, spirit, hardihood
miotalach = metallic; mettlesome, spirited; hardy, wiry
miotalagrafaíocht = metallography
miotalóir = metallurgist
miotalóireach = metallurgic(al)
miotalóireacht = metal-work, metallurgy
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) miotal, meiteal = metal
= miner
meatailteach = metallic
obair-mheatailtean, obair-mheatailt = metalwork, metallurgy
meatailt uasal = precious metal
Manx (Gaelg) metal = metal
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) mettel = metal
Welsh (Cymraeg) metel, metal = metal, metal weapon or armour; substance, mettle, bravery, courage
metelaidd, metelig = metallic
meteleg = metallurgy
metelegol = metallurgical
metelegwr, metelegydd = metallurgist
Cornish (Kernewek) metol = metal
metolyek = metallic
Breton (Brezhoneg) metal = metal
metalerezh = metallurgy
metalour = metallurgist

Etymology (Welsh): from the Middle English metel(l), metal(l) (metal, ore), from the Old French metal (metal), from the Latin metallum (metal, precious metals, mine), from the Ancient Greek μέταλλον (métallon – metal, precious metals, mine) [source].

Etymology (Irish): from the Old French metal (metal), then as above [source].

The English word metal comes from the same roots, via Middle English, Old French, etc [source]. The word mettle (a quality of endurance and courage) was originally a variant of metal, and later came to have a figurative sense [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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Nephews

Today we’re looking at the words for nephew and related people in Celtic languages.

My nephew in a hat
My nephew. Mo nia. Mac my shayrey. Fy nai. Ma noy. Ma niz.

Proto-Celtic *neɸūss = nephew
Primitive Irish ᚅᚔᚑᚈᚈᚐ (niotta) = nephew (sister’s son)
Old Irish (Goídelc) nia [ˈn͈ʲi.a] = nephew, sister’s son
Irish (Gaeilge) nia [n̪ʲiə] = nephew
garneacht = great-nephew
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) nia [n̪ʲiə] = nephew (sister’s son)
Manx (Gaelg) neear = nephew
Proto-Brythonic *nei = nephew
Old Welsh nei = nephew
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ney, nei = nephew
Welsh (Cymraeg) nai [nai̯] = nephew, first cousin’s son
nai fab brawd = nephew (brother’s son)
nai fab chwaer = nephew (sister’s son)
mab nai = great-nephew
naigarwch = nepotism
Middle Cornish noi = nephew
Cornish (Kernwek) noy = nephew
Old Breton ny = nephew
Middle Breton ni = nephew
Breton (Brezhoneg) niz = nephew
gourniz = great-nephew

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *népōts (grandson, descendent, nephew), possibly from *ne (not) and *pótis (master, lord, husband) [source].

Other words for nephew:

  • Irish: mac deirféar (sister’s son), mac dearthár (brother’s son)
  • Scottish Gaelic: mac-peathar (sister’s son), mac-bràthar (brother’s son)
  • Manx: mac shayrey (sister’s son), mac braarey (brother’s son)

See also the post about sons.

Words in Germanic language that come from the same PIE root, via the Proto-Germanic *nefô (nephew, grandson), include: Neffe (nephew) in German, neef (male cousin, nephew) in Dutch, and the obsolete English word neve (nephew, male cousin, grandson) [source].

The English word nephew comes from the same PIE root, via the Middle English nevew, neveu (nephew, grandson), the Old French neveu (nephew), and the Latin nepos (grandson, granddaughter, nephew, niece, descendent) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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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