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 blot = flour
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
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].

The English words flour, flower, flora, blossom and bloom come from the same roots, as does the French word fleur (flower) [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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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 = rotten
breinadur = corruption
breinañ = 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 brener (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) is 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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Forks

Today we’re looking at words for fork, and related words, in Celtic languages.

A Fork In The Road

Proto-Celtic *gablā = fork
Gaulish gab(a)los = fork
Old Irish (Goídelc) gabul [ˈɡavul] = fork, branch, gallows, gibbet
Irish (Gaeilge) gabhal [ɡoːəl̪ˠ] = bifurcation, fork, crotch, junction
gabahlán = martin, fork
gabahlóg = fork, forked stick, forked implement
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) gobahl [ɡoːəl̪ˠ] = bifurcation, fork, crotch, junction
gobahl-gleusaidh = tuning fork
gobahl-roinn = pair of compasses
gobahl-rathaid = road junction
Manx (Gaelg) goal = fork, branch, crotch, crutch, junction, perineum
goal twoaie = rainbow
Proto-Brythonic *gaβl [ˈɡaβl] =fork
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) gafl, gauyl = fork
Welsh (Cymraeg) gafl [gafl] = fork, stride, lap, inner part of the thigh, groin, angle, nook
gaflach arrow, dart, lance, spear, javelin, sickle; fork, stride, hind-legs, groin
gaflachaf, gaflachu = to straddle, walk with the feet wide apart
gaflachog = armed with javelins or spears; astride, bandy-legged, furcated, forked
gaflaw = split open, cleft, forked, in two
gafliaf, gaflio = to straddle, place/sit with the legs wide apart
Cornish (Kernewek) gowl = crotch, fork
gowlek = forked
Old Breton gabl = fork
Breton (Brezhoneg) gaol = fork
gaoliek = forkful
gaoliañ = to mount, bestride, ride (a horse or bicycle)

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *gʰeh₁bʰ- (to grab, take) [source]. The English word gable comes from the Gaulish wood gab(a)los (fork), via the Old French gable [source].

Proto-Celtic *awsetlo- = (flesh-)fork
Old Irish (Goídelc) áel [ɯːl] = trident, meatfork, flesh-fork
Irish (Gaeilge) adhal = fork, trident
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) adhal [ɤ.əl̪ˠ] = flesh-hook, flesh fork
Manx (Gaelg) aall = table fork, fleshhook

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁ólos (awl) or *ēl- (awl, prong) [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) forc [fork] = fork, pronged spear
Irish (Gaeilge) forc [fˠoɾˠk] = fork
forc éisc = fish fork
forc féir = hay-fork
forcáil = to fork
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) forca [ˈfɔr̪ˠxgə] = fork, cramp
forca-fheòir = hayfork
forca-spòlaidh = carving fork
Welsh (Cymraeg) fforc, fforch [fɔrk/fɔrχ]= (table) fork
fforc gig = carving-fork
fforc diwnio = tuning-fork
Cornish (Kernewek) forgh = fork
yn forgh = in fork (in good order = dry and work well – uesd in mining)
forghyes = forked
Breton (Brezhoneg) forc’h = fork
forc’had = gap, spread, distance
forc’hek = forked, bifurcated

Etymology: from the English fork, from the Middle English forke (fork, gallows), from the Old English forca (fork), from the Proto-West-Germanic *furkō (fork), from the Latin furca (fork). The Breton word comes directly from Latin [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, eDIL – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, logainm.ie, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old Irish glossary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Ale and Beer

Words for ale, beer and related words in Celtic languages.

beer haul

Proto-Celtic *lindo- = drink
Gaulish linda = drink
Old Irish (Goídelc) linn [ˈl͈ʲin͈ʲ] = drink, liquid, brew, ale, beer, intoxicating drink
lind = liquid, drink, ale
Irish (Gaeilge) leann = (pale) ale, beer; liquid, fluid
lionn = humour (of the body)
lionndubhach = melancholy, depressed
leannadóir = ale-merchant
leannlus = hop
leann bó = milk
leann donn = brown ale
leann dubh = stout
leann piorra = perry
leann sinséir = ginger ale
leann úll = cider
iarleann = small, weak beer
seomra leanna = tap-room
teach leanna = ale-house
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) leann [l̪ʲãũn̪ˠ] / lionn [l̪ʲũːn̪ˠ]= ale, beer; humour (of the body); fluid, liquid
lionn-dubh = dejection, melancholy
lionn searbh = bitter (ale)
lionn-ubhal = cider
Manx (Gaelg) lhune = ale, beer
lhune doo = stout, porter
lhune freillagh = lager
lhune jinshar = ginger beer
lhune ooyl = cider
lhune peear = perry
lhune sharroo = bitter (beer/ale)
shamyr lhionney = bar room, lounge bar, tap room
thie lhionney = ale house, pub
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llynn = drink
Welsh (Cymraeg) llyn [ɬɨ̞n/ɬɪn] = drink, beverage, intoxicating liquor, cordial, juice; liquid, humour
llyn afalau = cider, apple juice
llyn y bustl = bile
llyn gellyg = perry
Old Cornish lin = fluid, liquid, lotion
Cornish (Kernewek) lin = fluid, liquid, lotion
lin-golghi = washing detergent
lin leur = floor cleaner
lin sebon = detergent, washing-up liquid
Old Breton linnou = drink
Breton (Brezhoneg) liñvenn = liquid

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

Proto-Celtic *kormi, *kurman = beer
Gaulish curmi, curmím, κόρμα (kórma), κούρμι (koúrmi) = beer
Old Irish (Goídelc) cuirm = ale, beer
Irish (Gaeilge) coirm, cuirm [kɞɾʲəmʲ] = ale, drinking-party, feast, banquet
coirmeach = ale-drinking, festive
coirmtheach = ale-house
coirm cheoil, ceolchoirm = concert
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cuirm [kurʲum] = feast, banquet, entertainment; ale, beer (archaic)
co(i)rm = ale, beer
cuirm-chiùil = concert
cuirm-chnuic = picnic
Manx (Gaelg) cuirrey = banquet, feast
cuirrey kiaull = concert
Proto-Brythonic *kuruβ ̃, *kurβ̃ = beer, ale
Old Welsh curum = beer, ale
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) kuref, kwryf, kwrwf, cwrwf, cyryw = beer, ale
Welsh (Cymraeg) cwrw [ˈkʊru / ˈkuːru] = beer, ale
cwrw Adda = Adam’s ale, water
cwrw casgen = draught beer
cwrw coch = brown ale
cwrw cychwyn = a drink of beer on setting out on a journey, one for the road
coesau cwrw = a drunken gait (“beer legs”)
Old Cornish coref, coruf = ale, beer
Middle Cornish (CerneweC) cor = ale, beer
coref = ale, beer
Cornish (Kernewek) korev, kor = ale, beer
Breton (Brezhoneg) korev = ale, beer

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-Eurpean *kremH- (to burn) [source], or *ḱr̥h₃-m- (porridge, soup), or *ḱh₁erh₂- (to mix) [source].

The Latin word cervēs(i)a (beer) comes from the same Proto-Celtic root, as do words for beer in several Romance languages, including Spanish (cerveza), Portuguese (cerveja), Galician (cervexa) and Catalan (cervesa) [source].

More about words for beer in European languages.

Irish (Gaeilge) beoir [bʲoːɾʲ] = beer, a woman (rare, colloquial)
beoir bhairille = draught beer
beoir shinséir = ginger beer
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) beòir [bjɔːrʲ] = beer
beòir chaol = small beer
roipean beòir = beer moustache
Manx (Gaelg) beer = beer
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ber, berr, berre = beer, ale
Welsh (Cymraeg) bir = beer, ale
Breton (Brezhoneg) bier = ale, beer

Etymology (Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx): from the Old Norse bjórr, from the Proto-Germanic *beuzą (beer), from the Proto-Indo-Eurpean *bʰews- (dross, sediment) [source].

Etymology (Welsh): from the English beer, from the Middle English bere (beer), from the Old English bēor (beer), from the Proto-West Germanic *beuʀ (beer), from the Proto-Germanic *beuzą (beer) [source].

Etymology (Breton): from the French bière (beer), from the Old French biere (beer), from the Middle Dutch bier/bēr (beer), from the Frankish *bior (beer), from Proto-Germanic *beuzą (beer) [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, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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Fingers and Toes

Words for fingers and toes in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *makro = finger
Old Irish (Goídelc) mér [mʲeːr] = finger, digit, toe
Irish (Gaeilge) méar [mʲeːɾˠ] = finger, digit, toe, leg (of crustaceans, mollusks, etc), arm (of a cuttle fish)
an mhéar thosaigh/cholbha = the forefinger, index finger
an mhéar fhada/láir/mheáin = (the) middle finger
méar an fháinne = ring finger
an mhéar bheag / lúidín / lúideog = (the) little finger
méar coise = toe
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) meur [miar] = finger, digit, branch (of an organisation/family), key (in music), point (of an antler), knot (in wood)
meur-meomhair = forefinger, index finger
meur-meadhain / (am) meur fada / (am) meur meadhanach = middle finger
màthair na lùdaige / mac an aba / am madadh fada = ring finger
meur beag an airgid / plaoisgeag = little finger
Manx (Gaelg) mair = finger, digit, prong, ray, (piano) key, hand (of clock), tributary (of river)
corrag / corvair = the forefinger, index finger
mair vooar = the middle finger
mair ny fainey = ring finger
mair veg = the little finger
mair chass / mair choshey = toe
mair choshey veg / mair veg ny coshey = little toe

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *mh₂ḱros (lean, meager), which is also the root of the English word meagre/meager, via Old French and Latin [source].

Proto-Celtic *bissī / *bistis = finger
Old Irish (Goídelc) biss = icicle
Welsh (Cymraeg) bys [bɨːs / biːs] = finger (of hand/glove), toe; medium, agency; hand (of clock); latch
bys bawd = thumb
bys blaen = forefinger, index finger
bys y cogwrn = middle finger (“knuckle finger”)
bys y gyfaredd = ring finger
bys bach = little finger, ear-finger; minute-hand
Old Cornish bis/bes = finger
Cornish (Kernewek) bys/bes = finger, digit
bys bras = thumb
bys rag = index finger
bys kres = middle finger
bys bysow = ring finger
bys byghan / bes bian = little finger
Breton (Brezhoneg) biz = finger, hand (of clock), tooth (of tool), leg (of anchor), tentacle, tendril
biz-meud = thumb
biz-yod = index finger
biz bras = middle finger
biz-gwalenn / biz bizou = ring finger
biz bihan / skouarnel = little finger

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *gʷist- (twig, finger). The French word bijou (a piece of jewellry), comes from the same root, via the Breton bizoù (ring), from biz (finger). [source]

Proto-Celtic *māto = finger
Welsh (Cymraeg) bawd = thumb, big toe; claw (of crab), hoof
bawd troed = big toe
Cornish (Kernewek) meus = thumb
Breton (Brezhoneg) meud [ˈmøːt] = thumb

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *mē-.

Old Irish (Goídelc) ordu = thumb, big toe
Irish (Gaeilge) ordóg [ˈəuɾˠd̪ˠoːɡ] = thumb, big toe, claw, pinces, bit, piece, fragment
ordóg coise = big toe
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) òrdag [ɔːr̪ˠdag] = thumb, big toe
òrdag-coise / òrdag-mhór = big toe
òrdag-làimhe = thumb
òrdag bheag an airgid = little toe, little finger
Manx (Gaelg) ordaag = thumb
ordaag chass / ordaag choshey / ordaag vooar = big toe

Etymology: possibly from the Old Irish ord/ordd (hammer, piece, fragment, stub), from the Proto-Celtic *ordos (hammer).

Irish (Gaeilge) ladhar [lˠaiɾˠ] = space between toes or fingers, toe, claw, prong, (clawed) hand
ladhar mhór = big toe
ladhar bheag = little toe
laidhricín = little toe, little finger
lúidín / lúideog = little finger, little toe
lúidín coise = little toe
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ladhar [l̪ˠɤ.ər] = hoof, prong, toe, claw (of lobster)
ladhrag [l̪ˠɤːrag] = toe, prong, hoof
an ladhar mór = big toe
lùdag / lùdag bheag / lùdag dhubh na catha [l̪ˠuːdag] = little finger, hinge

Etymology: unknown

Laugh

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, MacBain’s Dictionary, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old-Irish Glossary, teanglann.ie, On-Line Manx Dictionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau, TermOfis

Salmon

Words for salmon in the Celtic languages. The species of salmon most common found around Celtic speaking lands is the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Other species of salmon are available.

There are three words for salmon in Proto-Celtic: *esoxs / *esāk, *φenk-īnjo and *φorko. Only the first one has descendents in the modern Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *esoxs / *esāk = salmon
Gallaecian *īsis = salmon
Gaulish *esoks = salmon
Old Irish (Goídelc) eo [eːo̯] = salmon
Irish (Gaeilge) eo [oː / ɔː] = salmon; noble being, prince
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) [jɔː] = salmon (archaic)
eog = salmon
Proto-Brythonic *esāx = salmon
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ehawc = salmon
Welsh (Cymraeg) eog [ˈɛ.ɔɡ / ˈeː.ɔɡ] = salmon, sea-trout, sewin, samlet
Old Cornish ehoc = salmon
Cornish (Kernewek) eghek = salmon
Middle Breton eheuc = salmon
Breton (Brezhoneg) eog = salmon

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *peysḱ- (fish).

Old Irish (Goídelc) bratán = salmon
Irish (Gaeilge) bradán [bˠɾˠəˈd̪ˠaːn̪ˠ / ˈbˠɾˠad̪ˠaːnˠ / ˈbˠɾˠɑd̪ˠɑnˠ] = salmon
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) braden [bradan] = salmon
Manx (Gaelg) braddan = salmon

Etymology: from the Old Irish brat (captivity, bondage, robbery) and án (diminutive suffix).

Welsh (Cymraeg) samon / samwn = salmon
Cornish (Kernewek) sowman = salmon
Breton (Brezhoneg) somon = salmon

Etymology: from the English salmon, from the Middle English samoun, samon, saumon (salmon), from the Anglo-Norman saumon (salmon), from the Old French saumon, from the Latin salmō (salmon), either from the Proto-Celtic *esoxs / *esāk, or from the Latin saliō (to leap).

Salmon Jumping Falls (NPS/D. Jacob)

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, MacBain’s Dictionary, In Dúil Bélrai English – Old-Irish Glossary, teanglann.ie, On-Line Manx Dictionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau, TermOfis