Words for cattle, cow, bull and calf in Celtic languages.

Highland cows

Proto-Celtic *bāus = cow
*bow = cow
Celtiberian boustom = stable (?)
Old Irish (Goídelc) [boː] = ox, cow
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) = ox, cow
bóaire = stock-master, stock-owner (“cow-noble”)
bólacht = stock of cattle
bómlacht = cow’s milk
búarach = owner of cows
Irish (Gaeilge) [bˠoː] = cow
bó mhara = sea-cow, manatee
bó shamhraidh = ladybird
bó-aire = cattle lord, cattle owner
bódóir = cow-doctor
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) [boː] = cow
bò b(h)ainne = dair/milk cow
boineag = small cow
bòthach = pertaining to or abounding in cows
Manx (Gaelg) booa = cow
booa vluight = dairy cow
boin = very little cow
Proto-Brythonic *bʉ = cow
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) buv, bu, buw = cow
Welsh (Cymraeg) bu = cow, ox, head of cattle (as a standard of value in the Welsh laws)
buach = cowherd, rustic, wretched creature
biw = cow, cattle, horned cattle
Middle Cornish biuh = cow
Cornish (Kernewek) bu = cow
Breton (Brezhoneg) bu = cow

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *gʷṓws (cattle). The old Galician word busto (enclosed pasture, a herd of cattle) comes from the same Proto-Celtic roots, via Celtiberian [source].

Proto-Celtic *boukkā = cow
Proto-Brythonic *bʉx = cow
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) buvch, buwch = cow
Welsh (Cymraeg) buwch [bɨu̯χ / bɪu̯χ] = cow
buwch y dwfr = hippopotamus
buwch goch Duw = ladybird
buwchaidd = cow-like, pertaining to cattle, bovine, uncivilized, stolid
buwchan = small cow, young cow, heffer
buwchfrechu = to vaccinate (with cowpox)
buwchfrechiad = (cowpox) vaccination
buwchol = bovine
Old Cornish buch = cow
Middle Cornish beuch, buch, beuh = cow
Cornish (Kernewek) bugh [biʊx / bɪwh] = cow
bugh godra = dairy cow
bughik = little cow
bughik Dhuw = ladybird
bughvowes = cowgirl
bughwas = cowboy
Breton (Brezhoneg) buoc’h [ˈbɥoːχ / ˈbyːɔχ] = cow
buoc’han = ladybird
buoc’hken = cowhide

Etymology: from the Proto-Celtic *bāus (cow), the Proto-Indo-European *gʷṓws (cattle) [source].

Proto-Celtic *tarwos = bull
Gaulish taruos = bull
Old Irish (Goídelc) tarb [tarv] = bull
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) tarb = bull
Irish (Gaeilge) tarbh [ˈt̪ˠaɾˠuː / ˈt̪ˠaɾˠu] = bull
tarbhadóir = toreador
tarbhán = bull-calf, young bull
tarbhánta = bull-like, massive, powerful
tarbhántacht = bullishness
tarbhghadhar = bulldog
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) tarbh [tarav] = bull, Taurus
tarbh-chù = bulldog
tarbh-nathrach (neimhe) = dragonfly
tarbh-thonn = mighty wave
tarbhach = like a bull, hefty, chunky
tarbhan = small bull
tarbhan-dè = butterfly
Manx (Gaelg) tarroo = bull, Taurus
taarroo oaldey = bison, buffalo
tarroo-choo = bulldog
tarroo-feeaih = stag
Proto-Brythonic *tarw = bull
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) tarỼ, tarv = bull
Welsh (Cymraeg) tarw [ˈtaru / ˈtaːru] = bull, uncastrated male ox, papal bull, Taurus (sign of the zodiac); valiant leader, fierce hero
tarw dur = bulldozer
tarwgi = bulldog
Old Cornish tarow = bull
Cornish (Kernewek) tarow = bull
Old Breton taruu = bull
Middle Breton taru = bull
Breton (Brezhoneg) tarv = bull

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *táwros (wild bull, aurochs), which possibly comes from or was borrowed into Proto-Semtic as *ṯawr- (bull, ox), from which we get ثَوْر (ṯawr – bull, steer, ox, Taurus) in Arabic [Source].

The Old Irish Irish word for bull was borrowed into Old Norse as tarfr, which became tarvur (bull, Taurus, womanizer) in Faroese, and tarfur (bull) in Icelandic [Source].

Words from the same PIE root include Taurus and steer in English, taureau (bull, Taurus) in French, toro (bull) in Spanish, and touro (bull) in Portuguese [Source].

Proto-Celtic *laygos / *lāɸigos = calf
Old Irish (Goídelc) lóeg [l͈oːi̯ɣ] = calf, favourite, darling
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) lóeg = calf, favourite, darling, young deer
Irish (Gaeilge) lao [l̪ˠeː / l̪ˠiː] = (young) calf
laoidín = tiny calf
laofheoil = veal
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) laogh [l̪ˠɯːɣ] = calf, kid (of deer), fawn, term of endearment for a child
laoghach = pertaining to or abounding in calves
laoghan = little calf
Manx (Gaelg) lheiy [ax] = calf
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) lo, lloe, llo = calf
Welsh (Cymraeg) llo [ɬoː] = calf, bullock, simpleton, dolt
llo(e)aidd = calf-like
lloeaf, lloeo, lloea = to calve
Old Cornish loch = calf
Middle Cornish) leauh, loch = calf
Cornish (Kernewek) leugh [løːx / leːx / lɛwh] = calf
Breton (Brezhoneg) leue [ˈlø.e] = calf

Etymology: a diminutuve of the Proto-Indo-European *leh₂p- (cattle) [source].

Irish (Gaeilge) bearach = heifer, young cow
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) biorach [birəx] = a weaned but not fully mature calf or foal (up to 2 years); anti-suckling device, sucking preventer, weaner
Welsh (Cymraeg) bustach / bustych = bullock, ox, steer (possibly related to the above words)

Etymology: from the Old Irish berach [ˈbʲerax] (pointed, sharp; having pointed ears, horned), from bir (stake, spit, point; spear, spike) & -ach (related to, having, characterised by, prone to) [source].

Proto-Brythonic *oti̯on- = bullock
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) eydyon, eidon = ox, steer, bullock
Welsh (Cymraeg) eidion = domestic male of the bovine family, ox, steer, bullock, neat
Old Cornish odion = bullock
Middle Cornish udzheon, odgan = bullock
Cornish (Kernewek) ojyon = ox
Middle Breton eugenn = bullock. ox
Breton (Brezhoneg) ejon = bullock. ox
Proto-Celtic *anderā = young woman
Gaulish anderon = heifer
Old Irish (Goídelc) ainder [ˈan͈ʲdʲər] = married woman; virgin, maiden
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) ander [ˈæn̠ʲəɾˠ] = girl, maiden, lass; young woman
Irish (Gaeilge) ainnir [ˈæn̠ʲəɾˠ] = girl, maiden, lass; young woman (poetic); attractive woman
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ainnir [an̠ʲɪrʲ] = maiden, virgin; nymph; marriageable woman; young woman
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) anneir = heifer
Welsh (CymraeG) anner [ˈanɛr] = heifer
Old Cornish annoer = heifer
Cornish (Kernewek) annor = heifer
Middle Breton annoer = heifer
Breton (Brezhoneg) annoar = heifer

Etymology: possibly related to Basque andere (lady, woman) [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, Gerlyvyr Cernewec, Dictionaire Favereau, TermOfis, Le dictionnaire diachronique du breton, Geriafurch, English – ProtoCeltic WordList (PDF), Etymological Dictionary Of Proto Celtic

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