Shoulders

Words for shoulder in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *skēdos = shoulder
Middle Irish gúala = shoulder
Irish (Gaeilge) gualainn [ˈɡuˑəl̪ˠənʲ] = shoulder
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) gualainn [guəl̪ˠən̪ˠ] = shoulder
Manx (Gaelg) geaylin = corner (of house), shoulder
Proto-Brythonic *skuïð = shoulder
Welsh (Cymraeg) ysgwydd [ˈəsɡwɨ̞ð / ˈəsɡʊi̯ð] = shoulder
Cornish (Kernewek) skoodh [sko:ð / sku:ð] = shoulder
Breton (Brezhoneg) skoaz = shoulder; help

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau, English – Proto-Celtic Wordlist

Eyes & Sun

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

A view from Jack Scout

Proto-Celtic *sūle = suns, dual of *sūlos, genitive of *sāwol = sun
Primitive Irish *sūli = eye
Old Irish (Goídelc) súil [suːlʲ] = eye, hope, expectation
Irish (Gaeilge) súil [sˠuːlʲ / sˠuːl] = eye; expectation, hope; something resembling or suggesting an eye
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sùil [suːl] = eye; glance, look; expectation; fancy, notion; opening; (rope) eye
Manx (Gaelg) sooill [suːlʲ] = eye, eyepiece, ocellus, sheath of bud, hole of strap
Welsh (Cymraeg) haul [haɨ̯l / hai̯l] = sun, sunlight
heulo = to shine, be sunny, expose to the sun, air (clothes), display
heulog = sunny, solar, cheerful, smiling
torheulo, bolaheulo = to sunbathe
Middle Cornish houl = sun
Cornish (Kernewek) howl [hɔʊl] = sun
howldrevel = sunrise, east
howllen = parasol
howlleski = to tan
howlleskys = sunburnt, tan
howllosk = sunburn
howlsedhes = sunset, west
Breton (Brezhoneg) heol = sun, sunny place, censer

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *sóh₂wl̥. (sun) [source].

Proto-Celtic *sawenos = sun
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) haun, hvun = sun, sunlight, sunshine
Welsh (Cymraeg) haun [ˈhɨ.an / ˈhiː.an] = sun, sunlight, sunshine, bright, radiant, sunny
Breton (Brezhoneg) huon = sun

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *sh̥₂uén, from *sóh₂wl̥ (sun) [source].

Proto-Celtic *lukato- = eye
Proto-Brythonic *lugad = eye
Welsh (Cymraeg) llygad [ˈɬəɡad] = eye; iris of the eye; region around the eye; look, gaze; sight, vision; viewpoint
Cornish (Kernewek) lagas [‘lagas / lægɐz] = eye
Breton (Brezhoneg) lagad [ˈla.ɡat] = eye, look, light, eyelet, sleeve, mesh

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (to shine) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Proto-Celtic *grēnā / *gʷrensnā = sun
Old Irish (Goídelc) grian [ɡʲrʲiːa̯n] = sun
Irish (Gaeilge) grian [ˈgɾʲiənˠ] = sun; paragon
grianach = sunny, cheerful, pleasant
grianadh = sunning, basking
grianán = sunny upper room , solar; person of sunny disposition, loved one, darling
grianbhuí = mellow, golden, sunlight
grianchlog = sundial
grianchóras = solar system
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) grian [grʲian] = sun
grainach [grʲianəx] = sunny
grainan = sunny spot; place for drying (esp. peat); sundog, mock sun (parhelion)
grian-stad = solstice
Manx (Gaelg) grian [ɡriːn / ɡriᵈn] = sun, sunlight, sunshine
grian-vroit = sunbaked

Etymology: possibly from Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰer- (to be warm, hot) [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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Cheeks

Words for cheek in Celtic languages.

Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bòc [bɔːxg] = bloat, inflate, puff; rise, surge, swell
Welsh (Cymraeg) boch [boːχ] = cheek, jaw, mouth
Cornish (Kernewek) bogh [bɔ:x / boːʰ] = cheek
Breton (Brezhoneg) boc’h [pɛ̃n] = cheek

Etymology: from Latin bucca (cheek, mouth) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Irish (Gaeilge) leiceann = cheek, side-face
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) lethcheann [l̪ʲeçən̪ˠ] = side of the head, temple, cheek
Manx (Gaelg) lieckan = cheek, side-face, profile, banging post

Sources: Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

Noses & Nostrils

Words for nose and nostril in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *srognā = nose
Gaulish *srognā = nose, nostril
Old Irish (Goídelc) srón [sroːn] = nose, nostril
Irish (Gaeilge) srón [sˠɾˠoːnˠ] = nose; sense of smell; prow, projection
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) sròn [sdrɔːn] = nose, snout, trunk; promontory; snout (of a glacier); toe (of a shoe)
Manx (Gaelg) stroin [strɛin] = nose, promontory, headland, ness, naze, nose-piece
Proto-Brythonic *froɨn = nose
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) ffroen = nostril
Welsh (Cymraeg) ffroen = nostril; muzzle of a gun, mouth of a cannon, nozzle of a pair of bellows; hole, entrance, opening (of a pipe), cock, spout
Cornish (Kernewek) frig [fri:g] = nostril
Old Breton fron = nostril
Middle Breton froan / fron = nostril
Breton (Brezhoneg) froen = nostril
fri = nose

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *sregʰ- (snore), from *welH- (to turn, to wind) [source].

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

Gaulish *trugnā = nose
Welsh (Cymraeg) trwyn [truːɨ̯n / trʊi̯n] = nose, snout; sense of smell
Old Cornish trein = nose
Cornish (Kernewek) tron [tro:n] = nose, point (of land), snout, tunnel

Sources: Wiktionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Hair

Words for hair in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *woltos = hair
Old Irish (Goídelc) folt [fol͈t] = hair
Irish (Gaeilge) folt = hair, locks, tresses
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) falt [fal̪ˠd] = hair, locks, ringlets, tail
Manx (Gaelg) folt [folt̪] = hair
Proto-Brythonic *gwolt = hair
Welsh (Cymraeg) gwallt [ɡwaːɬt / ɡwaɬt] = hair
Old Cornish gols = hair
Cornish (Kernewek) gols [gɔlz] = hair
Old Breton guolt = hair

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *woltos (hair), from *welH- (to turn, to wind) [source].

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

Old Irish (Goídelc) grúac = hair
Irish (Gaeilge) gruaig [ɡɾˠuəɟ] = hair (mass), locks (of hair)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) gruag [gruəg] = hair (esp. of female), wig, head of hair, lock of hair
Manx (Gaelg) gruag = hair

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie

Welsh (Cymraeg) blew = hair, hairs, bristles, fur; small fish bones; blade of grass
Old Cornish bleu = hair
Cornish (Kernewek) blew [blɛˑʊ] = hair
Old Breton bleuou = hair
Breton (Brezhoneg) blev = hair, bristles, fish bones

The words most commonly used for hair are: gruaig (Irish), falt (Scottish Gaelic), folt (Manx), gwallt (Welsh), gols (Cornish), blev (Breton).

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

Backs & Ridges

Words for back in Celtic languages.

View from Snowdon

Old Irish (Goídelc) druimm [drumʲ] = back, ridge
Irish (Gaeilge) droim [d̪ˠɾˠiːmʲ / d̪ˠɾˠɪmʲ] = back, ridge, carapace, wave
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) druim [drɯim] = back, ridge, keel, backline, camber
Manx (Gaelg) dreeym = back, ridge, hillside, down, terrace, shed, camber, saddle, fret, arch, edge

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie

Proto-Celtic *kebno- = back
Gaulish Cebenna [keˈben.na] = ridge, height, and name of the mountins now known as the Cévennes
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) keuen [ˈke.ven] = back
Welsh (Cymraeg) cefn [kɛvn / ˈkeːvɛn] = back, support, ridge, middle, center
Cornish (Kernewek) keyn [kɛɪn / kəɪn] = back, keel, ridge
Breton (Brezhoneg) kein [ˈkɛjn] = back, keel, binding, convexity

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

Fists, Palms, Hands & Arms

Words for fist, palm, hand & arm in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *ɸlāmā = palm, hand
Old Irish (Goídelc) lám [l͈aːṽ] = hand, arm, prowess, accomplishment, power
Irish (Gaeilge) lámh [l̪ˠɑːvˠ / l̪ˠæːw] = hand, arm, handle, signature, measure (of horses)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) làmh [l̪ˠaːv] = hand, arm, handle
Manx (Gaelg) laue [læu] = hand, handful, foreleg, grasp (of oar), arm
Proto-Brythonic *lọβ̃ [ˈlɔːβ̃] = palm, hand
Old Welsh lau = hand
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) llaw = hand
Welsh (Cymraeg) llaw [ɬaːu̯ / ɬau̯] = hand; authority, control, rule, management, power; ownership, possession; influence; agency, instrumentality, part; guardianship, keeping, custody, care, protection; side, direction, position; skill, touch
Old Cornish lof = hand
Cornish (Kernewek) leuv [lœ:v / le:v] = hand
Old Breton lom = hand
Middle Breton lau = hand

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *pl̥h₂meh₂ (palm, hand) [source].

Proto-Celtic *bostā = palm, fist
Gaulish *bostyā = palm, fist
Old Irish (Goídelc) bos / bas = palm
Irish (Gaeilge) bos = palm (of hand); handful; slap; flat end, blade
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bas [l̪ˠaːv] = hand, arm, handle
Manx (Gaelg) bass = palm, flat of hand, blade of oar, scale pan, bass
Proto-Brythonic *bos [ˈbos] = hand
Old Welsh bos = palm
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) bos = palm
Welsh (Cymraeg) bos = palm (of the hand), unit of length
Cornish (Kernewek) bas [ba:z / bæ:z] = shallow
Middle Breton boz = hollow of the hand
Breton (Brezhoneg) boz [ˈboːs] = hollow of the hand

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology: possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *gʷésdos (branch) [source]. The Middle Latin word bostia (small box, reliquaire was borrowed from the Gaulish *bostyā, and became bostellus (bushel), the root of the French word boisseau (bushel, hollow cylinder), and the English word bushel [source].

Old Irish (Goídelc) rig = forearm
Irish (Gaeilge) [d̪ˠoːɾˠn̪ˠ] = forearm
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ruighe [r̪ˠujə] = plain; forearm
Manx (Gaelg) roih = arm, forearm

Etymology: possibly from the Old Irish *reg (to stretch) [source].

Welsh (Cymraeg) braich [brai̯χ] = arm
Cornish (Kernewek) bregh [brɛ:x /bre:ʰ] = arm
Breton (Brezhoneg) brec’h = hand

Etymology: from Latin bracchium (hand) [source].

Proto-Celtic *durnos = fist
Old Irish (Goídelc) dorn = fist
Irish (Gaeilge) dorn [d̪ˠoːɾˠn̪ˠ] = fist; punch; fistful, small quantity; handle, grip
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) dòrn [dɔːr̪ˠn̪ˠ] = fist; punch; hilt; handle
Manx (Gaelg) doarn = fist, pad, sword handle, grip
Welsh (Cymraeg) dwrn = fist, hand, paw; hilt, handle, haft, pommel; knob
Cornish (Kernewek) dorn [dɔrn] = fist, hand, handle
Breton (Brezhoneg) dorn [ˈdɔʁn] = hand, fist

Etymology: probably loaned from a non-Indo-European substrate language [source].

palm

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

Bones

Words for bones and related things in Celtic languages.

Bones

Proto-Celtic *knāmis = bone
Old Irish (Goídelc) cnáim [knaːṽʲ] = bone
Irish (Gaeilge) cnámh [knɑːvʲ / knaːvʲ] = bone; strip (in ploughing); submerged reef
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cnàimh [krɛ̃ːv] = bone; unploughed area
Manx (Gaelg) craue [kreːw] = bone, whine, wild garlic, crow
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) knaw [knau̯] = bone, skull
Welsh (Cymraeg) cnaw [knau̯] = bone, skull

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *kónh₂m (leg) [source]. Words from the same root include ham in English and κνήμη [ˈknimi] (shin, tibia) in Greek [source].

Proto-Celtic *astū = bone
*astn(iy)o- = rib
*astkornu = bone
Old Irish (Goídelc) asna, esna = rib
Irish (Gaeilge) easna [ˈɑsˠn̪ˠə] = rib, strake, timber
easnach = costal, ribbed
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) asna [asn̪ˠə] = rib
aisean [aʃən] = rib
Manx (Gaelg) asney [kreːw] = fin, nerve, rib, timber
Proto-Brythonic *assī = rib
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) eis / asseu / assen = rib
Welsh (Cymraeg) asen = rib, breast, bosom; bar, spar, lath
ais [ai̯s] = ribs, laths
asennog = ribbed
asgwrn = bone; mortal remains, corpse, skeleton; stone (of fruit)
Middle Cornish (Cernewec) asow, asen = rib
ascorn = bone
asgornec = bony
Cornish (Kernewek) asowen = rib
askorn [‘askɔrn / ‘æskɐrn] = bone
askornek = skinny
Breton (Brezhoneg) askorn [ˈla.ɡat] = bone
askornek = bony

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *h₃ésth₁ (bone) [source]. Words from the same root include ossify (to transform into bone) and ossuary (a container/building for holding bones) in English, asht (bone) in Albanian, os (bone) in Latin and its descendents in Romance languages, such as os (bone) in Catalan, French and Romanian, and hueso (bone) in Spanish [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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Ears

Words for ears in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *kloustā = ear
Old Irish (Goídelc) clúas = ear, hearing
Irish (Gaeilge) cluas [klˠuəsˠ] = ear; ear-shaped object; lug, handle; cleat; tab; corner, margin
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) cluas [kl̪ˠuəs] = ear, lug; handle; clew (of a sail) ; flyer bearing (of a spinning wheel)
Manx (Gaelg) cleaysh [kleːʃ] = ear, cleat, handle, lug, top corner of net, corner of sail
Proto-Brythonic *klʉst = ear
Welsh (Cymraeg) clust [klɨːst / klɪst] = ear, sense of hearing, attention, willingness to listen; handle of a vessel, tag of a boot, top part of a bell; creek or inlet; auricle (of the heart)

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *ḱlow-steh₂, from *ḱlew- (to hear) [source].

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru

Welsh (Cymraeg) ysgyfarn = ear
Old Cornish scouarn = ear
Cornish (Kernewek) skovarn [‘skɔvarn / ‘skɔvɐrn] = ear, handle (of jar)
Old Breton scobarn = ear
Breton (Brezhoneg) skouarn [skwaʁn] = ear; gills; handle (of vase); moldboard (of plow)

Sources: Wiktionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Heads & Brains

Words for heads, brains and minds in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *kʷennom = head
*en-kʷennio- = brain
Gaulish pennon / πεννοου = head
Primitive Irish ᚉᚒᚅᚐ-ᚉᚓᚅᚅᚔ (cuna-cenni) = head
Old Irish (Goídelc) cenn [kʲen͈] = head, end
inchinn [kʲen͈] = brain
Irish (Gaeilge) ceann [caun̪ˠ / cɑːn̪ˠ / can̪ˠ] = head; end, extremity; one; chief, main
inchinn [ˈɪɲçən̠ʲ] = brain
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ceann [kʲaun̪ˠ] = head; end, close, finish; lid; roof; subject, topic
eachainn [ɛnɛxɪn̪ʲ] = brain, brains
Manx (Gaelg) kione [caun / coːn / coᵈn] = head, headland, chief, ringleader, bottom, poll, end, extreme, close, finish, top-end, top, point of argument, termination, closing, extremity, point, dyke, tribune
Proto-Brythonic *penn [ˈpenː] = head
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) penn = head, chief
Welsh (Cymraeg) pen [əˈmɛnɨ̞ð / əˈmɛnɪð] = head, obverse (of coin); top, summit, roof, highest point; extremity, end, beginning; headland, promontory, projecting point of rock; pole
ymennydd brain, brains, intellectual capacity, mind
Old Cornish penn = head
Cornish (Kernewek) penn [pɛn:] = head, end, top
ympynnyon brain
Old Breton penn = head, chief
Breton (Brezhoneg) pen(n) [pɛ̃n] = head, chief, leader
empenn = brain

Etymology: unknown, possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *kap- (to hold, seize). The words for brain all mean “in head”.

Old Irish (Goídelc) in(n)tinn [ˈin͈ʲtʲin͈ʲ] = head, end
Irish (Gaeilge) intinn [ˈiːn̠ʲtʲən̠ʲ] = mind, mental state, disposition, attention, spirits, intention, accord
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) inntinn [ĩːn̪ʲdʲɪn̪ʲ] = (human) mind; intellect, intelligence; intention, purpose
Manx (Gaelg) inçhyn = brain, grey matter, intellect, spirit

Etymology: from the Latin intentiō (strain, tension, increase, exertion, charge, purpose, intention).

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

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Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary, Teanglann.ie, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek