Mind Sense

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

Mind, Sense, Widom, Intelligence, Meaning

Proto-Celtic *kʷēslā = mind; sense, wisdom, intelligence; meaning
Old Irish (Goídelc) cíall [kʲiːa̯l͈] = sense, intelligence, mind; wisdom, good sense, skill; intention, cause, reason, idea; signification, meaning, function
Irish (Gaeilge) ciall [kiəl̪ˠ/kʲal̪ˠ] = sense, sanity; normal state of mind; common sense; perception; meaning; reason, cause
ciallaigh = to mean, signify; explain, interpret
ciallchogar = confidential whisper
ciallmhaireacht = sensibleness, reasonableness
ciallmhar = sensible, reasonable, common sense
aingiall = unreason
fochiall = secondary meaning, connotation
gan chiall = meaningless, misguided, unmeaning, callow, lunatic, senseless, silly
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) ciall [kʲiəl̪ˠ] = meaning, sense, significance, connotation, implication, understanding, reason
ciallach = prudent, sensible, sane, tame
ciallaich = to mean, signify, imply
gun chiall = without sense, senseless, insane
eu-céillidheachd = insanity, madness, irrationality, foolishness
Manx (Gaelg) keeall = sense, significance
keeaylagh = eloquent, prudent
meecheeall = senselessness
meecheeallagh = senseless, unadvisedly
bun-cheeal = moral
gyn keeall = unmeaning, senseless
Proto-Brythonic *puɨll = mind; sense, wisdom, intelligence; meaning
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) puil, puilh = deliberation, consideration, care, caution
Welsh (Cymraeg) pwyll [puːɨ̯ɬ / pʊi̯ɬ] = deliberation, consideration, care, caution; discretion, prudence, wisdom, patience, understanding, intelligence, perception, judgement; nature, disposition; meaning, significance, sense
pwyll(i)ad = intention, intent, goal, aim, design
pwyllaf, pwyllo = to exercise discretion, deliberate, consider, contemplate
pwyllgor = committee, meeting
pwyllog = discreet, wise, intelligent, sane, rational, reasonable
pwyllwr, pwyllwraig = discreet, sensible or wise person
gan bwyll = gently, gradually, carefully, slowly
iawnbwyll = sanity, saneness, sane, sensible
o’i bwyll = out of one’s mind, beside oneself, insane
Cornish (Kernewek) poll = intelligence, reason
pollek = brainy, intelligent
Breton (Brezhoneg) poell = logical, logic
poellata = to reason, argue
poellakaat = to rationalize
poellel = logical, logic
poellelour = rationalist
poellgor = committee

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *kʷeyt- (to notice) [source].

Words from the same PIE root include číst (to read) and čítat (to count) in Czech, šķist (to seem, appear) and skaitīt (to count) in Latvian, skaitýti (to read) in Lithuanian, and चित्त [t͡ʃɪt̪t̪] (mind, heart) in Hindi [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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Wood Intelligence

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

Chess

According to legend, the ancient Irish game of fidchell was invented by Lugh (god of light and inspiration) in the 9th century. It played an important role in the celebrations at the Festival of Lughnasa (in August), and was played by kings, druids, warriors – more details. See also: https://totallyirishgifts.com/fidchell-the-ancient-celtic-chess-game/.

The old Welsh game of gwyddbwyll is mentioned in medieval Welsh literature, however there are no surviving examples of the game.

Chess is thought to have originated in India in the 6th century AD, and was brought to Britian by the Normans in the 12th century.

See also: https://lornasmithers.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/gwyddbwyll-why-the-war-games/.

Old Irish (Goídelc) fidchell [ˈfɪðʲçɛlː] = an old Irish board game similar to chess
Irish (Gaeilge) ficheall [ˈfʲɪhəl̪ˠ / ˈfʲɪhəl̪ˠ / ˈfʲɪçəl̪ˠ] = chess, chessboard
flcheallacht = chess-playing
flcheallaí = chess-player
clár fichille = chessboard
fear fichille = chessman
fíann/forieann fichille = set of chessmen
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) fidhcheall = Celtic chess
Manx (Gaelg) feeal = chess
feealee = chess player
fer feeal, babban feeal = chess piece
claare feeal = chessboard
Proto-Brythonic *gwɨðbuɨll = a board-game similar to chess
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) gvytbuill, gvydbvll, gvydbvyll = one of the twenty-four feats of skill or prowess performed in Wales in medieval times; a board-game similar to chess
Welsh (Cymraeg) gwyddbwyll [ˈɡwɨ̞ðbʊɨ̯ɬ] / ˈɡʊi̯ðbʊi̯ɬ] = chess; knowledge, learning, science; reason, sense, discretion
gwyddbwyllwr = chess player, chess piece, chess man
Cornish (Kernewek) gwydhbol = chess
Old Breton guidpoill, guidpull = chess
Breton (Brezhoneg) gwezboell = (Celtic) chess
gwezboellet = chequered

Etymology from the Proto-Celtic *widukʷēslā [source], *widu (wood), from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁widʰ(h₁)-u-s [source]; and *kʷēslā (mind, sense, wisdom, intelligence, meaning), from the Proto-Indo-European *kʷeyt- (to notice) [source].

The English word wood also comes from the PIE root *h₁widʰ(h₁)-u-s, via the Middle English wode (wood), the Old English widu, wudu (wood) the Proto-West-Germanic *widu (forest, tree, wood), and the Proto-Germanic *widuz (wood) [source].

See also the post about Trees, Wood(s) & Forests

In Welsh, chess is also sies or ses, which were borrowed from the Middle English ches(se) (chess, chess set, chessboard, chess pieces) [source].

Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) táiplis, táibhleis = tables, backgammon, backgammon-board
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) tàileasg [taːl̪ˠəsg] = chess, backgammon, draughts / checkers
Manx (Gaelg) tawlish = draughts / checkers
tawlish beg = draughts / checkers
tawlish mooar = backgammon
Welsh (Cymraeg) tawlfwrdd, towlfwrdd, tolfwrdd = a board game similar to chess, game-board; chess; chessboard, draughtboard

Etymology: from the Old Norse tafl (chess-like game, chess, backgammon), from the Latin tabula (tablet; board, plank) [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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Bolts and Locks

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

shed door bolt lock

Proto-Celtic *klāwos = bolt
Old Irish (Goídelc) cló, cloë = nail, spike
Irish (Gaeilge) cló [klˠoː] = form, shape, appearance; impression, mould; print, type; nail, spike
clóbhuail = print
clóchur = (type) setting
clóchuradóir = type-setter
clódóir = printer, dyer
clódóireacht = printing; dyeing, colouring; misrepresentation
clóghrafaíocht = typography
clóphreas = printing press
clóscríobh = typing, typewriting; to type
cló-eagar = composition
cló-eagraí = compositor
cló-eagraigh = to compose
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) clò [kl̪ˠɔː] = cloth, woven material, tweed; print; imprint; spike, nail; peg, pin
clò-bhualadh = printing, publication, printout
clò-bhualadair = printer (machine & printing house)
clò-ghrafachd = typography
clò-sgrìobhadair = typist, typewriter
clò-shuidheachadh = typesetting
Clò na Hearadh = Harris Tweed
cruth-clò = font
Manx (Gaelg) clou = edition, print, printed matter, printing press, publication, type
clouder = printer
clougraafeeaght = typography
clouscreeudeyr = typist
clou doo, clou trome = bold type
clou Gaelgagh = Gaelic type
clou gorrym = blueprint
soiaghey clou = type-setting
soieder clou = type-setter
Proto-Brythonic *klọw = bolt
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) clo, klo = lock, bolt
Welsh (Cymraeg) clo [kloː] = lock, bolt; impediment, difficulty; brake; cluster, bunch; conclusion
ar glo = locked
clo clap, clo clec, clo clwt = padlock
clo rheswm = conclusion
cyfnod clo = lockdown
tan glo (ac allwydd) = locked (up), under lock and key
cload = locking, end, conclusion, closure
cloadwy = lockable, locked, final
cloëdig, cloiedig = locked, secure, closed, concealed, bound, confined
cloi = to lock, shut, bind, clinch, conclude
Old Breton clou = bolt
Middle Breton clao = bolt
Breton (Brezhoneg) klaou = gear, key, mesh

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *kleh₂w-os (bolt, bar, hook), from *(s)kleh₂w- (hook, crook, peg) [source].

Words from the same PIE root, via the Latin clāvis (key), include: chiave (key, spanner) in Italian, clé (key, wrench, spanner) and clef (clef (in music)) in French, clef, clavicle and clavichord in English, and llave (key, spanner, wrench, tap, spigot, switch) in Spanish [source].

I can’t find a cognate word in Cornish. A lock is a strother, and a bolt is a ebil. The origins of these words are not known.

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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Heather

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

Heather

Proto-Celtic *wroikos = heather
Gaulish *wroika = heather
Celtiberian *broikios = heather
Old Irish (Goídelc) froích, fróech = heather
Middle Irish (Gaoidhealg) fráech = heather
Irish (Gaeilge) fraoch [fˠɾˠeːx / fˠɾˠiːx / fˠɾˠiːx] = heather, heath, moor
fraochán = bilberry, whortleberry, ring-ouzel
fraochlach = heath
fraochmhá = heath
fraochmhar = heathery
fraoch bán = white heather
fraoch coitianta = Scotch heather, ling
píobaire fraoch = grasshopper
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) fraoch [frɯːx] = heather, ling
fraoch-geal = white common heather (Calluna vulgaris alba
fraoch-bheinn = heather-covered mountain
fraochan = whortleberry, blaeberry, lingonberry, cranberry
fraochach = heathy, heathery
Manx (Gaelg) freoagh = heather, ling, heath
freoagh bane = brier, white heather
freoagh marrey = sea fern
freoagh mooar = Scotch heather
Proto-Brythonic *gwrʉg [ˈɡwrʉːɡ] = heather
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) gruc, gerug, gwrug = heather
Welsh (Cymraeg) grug [ɡrɨːɡ / ɡriːɡ] = heather, ling heath
grug cyffredin = heather, ling, common heath, Calluna vulgaris
grugiar = (red) grouse, willow grouse, heath-hen
gruglus = heath-berries
gruglwyn = bush of heather, sweet broom
grugnythu = to nest or nestle in the heather
grugog = heath-covered, heathery, abounding in heather
Cornish (Kernwek) grug [ɡryːɡ / ɡriːɡ] = heath, heather, ling
grugyar = partridge
Middle Breton groegan = heather
Breton (Brezhoneg) brug = heather

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Etymology unknown, possibly from a non-Proto-Indo-European root [source]. It’s uncertain where the Breton word brug comes from, but it’s likey that it was borrowed from the Latin *brūcus (heather).

The Spanish word brezo (heath) comes from the Vulgar Latin *broccius, from the Proto-Celtic *wroikos, as does the Galician breixo (heather) [source].

Words from the Gaulish root *wroikos (heather), via the Latin *brūcus (heather), include brugo (heather) and brughiera (heath, moor) in Italian, bruc (heather) and bruguera (heath) in Catalan, and bruyère (heather, heath, brier) in French [source].

Eilean Fraoch (Heather Isle) is a nickname for the Isle of Lewis / Eilean Leòdhais in the Western Isles / Na h-Eileanan Siar. Here’s a song about it:

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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Nieces

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

Sasha and Nick
My brother and my niece

Proto-Celtic *nextī = niece
Old Irish (Goídelc) necht = niece
Irish (Gaeilge) neacht [n̠ʲæxt̪ˠ] = niece
garneacht = great-niece
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) nigh [n̪iːj] = daughter, niece
Proto-Brythonic *nėθ = niece
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) nith = niece
Welsh (Cymraeg) nith [niːθ] = niece
gor-nith = great-niece
Old Cornish noit = niece
Cornish (Kernwek) nith = niece
Old Breton nith = niece
Middle Breton nyz = niece
Breton (Brezhoneg) nizh, nizez = niece
gou(r)nizez = great-niece

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *néptih₂ (niece, granddaughter) [source].

Words in Germanic language the come from the same PIE root, via the Proto-Germanic *niftiz (female descendent, granddaughter, niece), including: Nichte (niece) in German, nicht (female cousin, niece) in Dutch, and the obsolete English word nift (niece) [source].

The English word niece comes from the same PIE root, via the Middle English nece (niece, granddaughter), from the Old French nece (niece, granddaughter), from the Vulgar Latin *neptia (niece), from the Latin neptis (granddaughter) [source].

Other words for niece:

  • Irish: iníon deirféar (sister’s daughter), iníon dearthár (brother’s daughter)
  • Scottish Gaelic: nighean-pheathar (sister’s daughter), nighean-bhràthar (brother’s daughter), ban-ogha = granddaughter, niece
  • Manx: inneen shayrey (sister’s daughter), inneen vraarey (brother’s daughter)

See also the post about daughters.

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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Sisters

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

Sisters

Proto-Celtic *swesūr [ˈswe.suːr] = sister
Gaulish suiorebe = sister
Old Irish (Goídelc) siur [ˈsʲi.ur] = sister, kinswoman, female relation
derbṡiur [ˈdʲerʲvʲ.fʲi.ur] = sister (by blood / in a religious community)
sinserṡiur [ˈsʲinsʲerˌhi.ur] = elder sister
Irish (Gaeilge) siúr [ʃuːɾˠ] = sister, kinswoman; Sister (member of a religious community); (nursing) sister
deirfiúr = sister
deirfiúr athar = paternal aunt
deirfiúr máthar = maternal aunt
deirfiúr céile = sister-in-law
leathchúpla deirféar = twin sister
iníon deirféar = brother’s son, niece
mac deirféar = sister’s son, nephew
deirféar = sisterly
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) siùir [ʃuːrʲ] = sister (archaic)
piuthar [pju.ə] = sister
piùthrag [pjuːrag] = little sister, sis
piutharail [pju.əral] = sisterly
peathrachas [pɛrəxəs] = sisterhood, soroity
piuthar-chèile = sister-in-law
piuthar leth-aon = twin sister
piuthar-altraim = foster-sister
piuthar-athar = paternal aunt
piuthar-màthar = maternal aunt
Manx (Gaelg) shuyr [ʃuːr] = sister
shayragh, shuyroil = sisterly
shuyrys = sisterhood
shuyr (v)ayrey = aunt
shuyr gholtit = foster-sister
shuyr lannoonagh = twin sister
shuyr ‘sy leigh = sister-in-law
Proto-Brythonic *hwehir = sister
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) chwaer = sister
Welsh (Cymraeg) chwaer [χwaːɨ̯r / χwai̯r] = sister, half-sister, female mate or partner; maiden, sweetheart, mistress; nun, sister (in hospital)
chwaer efell = twin sister
chwaer faeth = foster sister
chwaer fedydd = god-sister
chwaer yng nghyfraith = sister-in-law
hanner chwaer = half-sister, step-sister
chwaerol = sisterly
chwaeroliaeth = sisterhood
Old Cornish huir = sister
Cornish (Kernwek) hwor = sister
hanter-hwor = half-sister
Old Breton guoer = sister
Middle Breton hoer = sister
Breton (Brezhoneg) c’hoar = sister
c’hoarig = sis, little sister; twin sister
c’hoarelezh = sisterhood
c’hoar-gaer, c’hoareg = sister-in-law, stepsister

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *swésōr (sister) [source].

Here’s a traditional Scottish Gaelic song about sisters – A’ phiuthrag ’sa phiuthar

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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Brothers

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

Brothers

Proto-Celtic *brātīr [ˈbraː.tiːr] = brother
Gaulish *bratir = brother
Old Irish (Goídelc) bráthair [ˈbraːθirʲ] = brother, cousin, kinsman
bráthardacht = brotherly
bráthardae = brotherly, fraternal
derbráthair = brother (by blood), from derb (certain) & bráthair
sinserbráthair = elder brother, senior kinsman
Irish (Gaeilge) bráthair [ˈɑhəɾʲ/ˈahæɾʲ] = brother (member of a religious community), friar, kinsman; monkfish, angelfish
bráithriúil = brotherly
bráithriúlacht = brotherliness
deartháir = brother, male sibling
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) bràthair [ahɪrʲ] = brother, male sibling
bràithreil = brotherly
bràthair-altraim = foster brother
bràthair-athar = parternal uncle
bràthair-màthar = maternal uncle
bràthair-cèile = brother-in-law
comh-bhràthaireil = fraternal
leth-bhràthair = half-brother
Manx (Gaelg) braar = brother, monk, friar
braar ayrey = parternal uncle
braar mayrey = maternal uncle
braar keeilley, braar ‘sy leigh = brother-in-law
braar lannoonagh = twin brother
braaragh, braaroil = brotherly, fraternal
braarys = brotherhood
jarroo-vraar = blood brother
lhiass-vraar = stepbrother
lieh-vraar = half brother
Proto-Brythonic *brọdr = brother
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) brawt, braud, bravt = brother
Welsh (Cymraeg) brawd [brau̯d] = brother, half-brother, male relative; clansman, fellow-countryman, male friend, fellow-man, like-minded person; monk; friar
brawd crefydd = friar, brother of a religious order
brawdoliaeth = brotherhood, brotherliness, brotherly feeling, brotherly love, fraternity, fellowship, relationship
brawdoli = to fraternize
brawdoldeb = brotherliness, brotherhood, brotherly love
brodorol = brotherly, fraternal; native, indigenous, vernacular
brawdyn = (little) brother, poor brother, wretch, male friend
Cornish (Kernwek) broder [taːz/tæːz] = brother
hanter-broder = half-brother
broder da = brother-in-law
brederedh = brotherhood
Old Breton brotr = brother
Middle Breton breuzr = brother
Breton (Brezhoneg) breur [ˈbrøːr] = brother
breur gevell = twin brother
breur-kaer, breureg = brother-in-law
breur-laezh, breur-mager = foster brother
breurel = fraternal
breuriezh = frairie
breuriad = siblings
hantervreur = half-brother

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰréh₂tēr (brother) [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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Fathers

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

Father & son

Proto-Celtic *ɸatīr [ˈɸa.tiːr] = father
*ɸatriyos = paternal
Old Irish (Goídelc) ath(a)ir [ˈaθɨrʲ] = father
athramail = fatherly, paternal, fatherlike
Irish (Gaeilge) athair [ˈɑhəɾʲ/ˈahæɾʲ] = father, ancestor, sire
aithriúil = fatherly
ardathair = patriarch
athair mór = maternity, fatherhood
leasathair = stepfather
seanathair = grandfather
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) athair [ahɪrʲ] = father, progenitor, sire
athair-baistidh = godfather
athair-cèile = father-in-law
bràthair-athar = parternal uncle
leas-athair = stepfather
piuthar-athar = parternal aunt
prìomh-athair = forefather, patriarch
taobh athar = paternal
Manx (Gaelg) ayr [ˈeːar] = father, matron, mater, queen, dam; focus, fountainhead, generator
ayroil = fatherly, parternal
ayrvarroo = patricide
shennayr = grandfather
Old Welsh -atr = ?

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *ph₂tḗr (father) [source].

Proto-Celtic *attyo-, *attiyos = father, foster-father
Old Irish (Goídelc) aite [ˈadʲe] = foster-father; tutor, teacher
Irish (Gaeilge) oide [ˈɛdʲə] = foster-father; tutor, teacher
oideachas = education
oideachasóir = educationalist
oideachasúil = educational
oideas = instruction, teaching, prescription, recipe
oideoir = educator
oideolaíoch = pedagogic(al)
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) oide [ɤdʲə] = tutor, foster-father, stepfather, godfather
oide-altraim = foster-father
oide-baistidh = godfather
oide-foghlaim = instructor
oide-ionnsachaidh = tutor
oide-sgoile = schoolmaster
oidich = instruction
Manx (Gaelg) gedjey = foster-father, godfather, guardian, sponsor

Etymology from the Proto-Indo-European *átta (father) [source].

Proto-Celtic *tatos = dad, daddy
Proto-Brythonic *tad = father
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) tad = father
Welsh (Cymraeg) tad [taːd] = father
tadaidd = fatherly, paternal
tadeiddiad = fatherhood
tadenw = patronymic
tadol = paternal, fatherly, inherited from the father
tadu = to father (a child), become a father; ascribe, attribute (to)
tadwlad = fatherland, native land
tadwys = family, lineage, fatherhood
tadwysaeth = paternity
Old Cornish tat = father
Cornish (Kernwek) tas [taːz/tæːz] = father
tasek = patron
tasrewl = patriarchy
tasveth = foster-father
tas bejydh = godfather
tas gwynn = grandfather
Tas Nadelik = Father Christmas
tas sans = patron saint
ugheldas = patriarch
Middle Breton tat = father
Breton (Brezhoneg) tad [ˈtɑːt] = father
tadeg = father-in-law
tadig = dad, daddy
tad-kaer = father-in-law
tad-kozh = grandfather
tad-kuñv = great-grandfather
tata = dad

Etymology from the Proto-Celtic *attyo-, *attiyos (father, foster-father), the Proto-Indo-European *átta (father) [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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Mothers

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

Mother Goose

Proto-Celtic *mātīr [ˈmaː.tiːr] = mother
*mātrikʷā, *mātrokʷī = maternal aunt, mother-like
Gaulish mātīr [ˈmaːtiːr] = mother
Celtiberian matrubos = mothers
Old Irish (Goídelc) máthir [ˈmaːθirʲ] = mother
máthrathatu = motherhood
máthramail = resembling one’s mother
Irish (Gaeilge) máthair [ˈmˠɑːhəɾʲ/ˈmˠɑːɾʲ/ˈmˠahærʲ] = mother, source (of a river)
máthairab = abbess
máthairthír = mother country
máthreachas = maternity, motherhood
máthrigh = to mother, bear, foster
máthriúil = motherly, tender, kind, mother-like
máthriúlacht = motherliness
leasmháthair = stepmother
seanmháthair = grandmother
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) màthair [maːhɪrʲ] = mother, origin, source
màthair-uisge = water source (of a river, etc)
màthair-chéile = mother-in-law
màthaireachd [maːhɪrʲəxg] = maternity, motherhood
màthaireil = mother-like, motherly, maternal
màthair athar = paternal grandmother
màthair màthar = maternal grandmother
màthair-sinnsireach = matrilinear
leas-mhàthair = stepmother
Manx (Gaelg) moir = mother, matron, mater, queen, dam; focus, fountainhead, generator
moiragh, moiroil = motherly
moiraght = motherhood
moiraghys, moirys = maternity, motherhood
moir-reilleyder/strong> = matriach
lhiass voir = stepmother
shenn voir = grandmother
Proto-Brythonic *mọdreb = aunt
Old Welsh modreped = aunts
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) modryb = aunt
Welsh (Cymraeg) modryb = aunt, uncle’s wife, matron
modrybaidd = aunt-like, matronly, motherly, respected
modrydaf = queen bee, parent bee-colony, (old) beehive
Old Cornish modereb = aunt
Cornish (Kernewek) modrep = aunt
modrebik = aunty
Old Breton motrep = aunt
Middle Breton mozreb = aunt
Breton (Brezhoneg) moereb [ˈmweːrep] = aunt
moereb-kozh = great aunt

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *méh₂tēr. (mother) [source].

Proto-Celtic *mamm(y)ā = mother, nanny, mum
Old Irish (Goídelc) muimme [ˈmaːθirʲ] = wet nurse, foster mother, instructress, patroness
Irish (Gaeilge) buime = foster-mother, nurse
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) muime [muimə] = stepmother, (wet) nurse, godmother
muime-chìche = wet nurse
muime-shìthe = fairy godmother
Manx (Gaelg) mimmey = foster mother, god mother, godparent, guardian, sponsor
Proto-Brythonic *mamm = mother
Middle Welsh (Kymraec) mam = mother
Welsh (Cymraeg) mam [mam] = mother, ancestress, dam, queen bee; source, origin, cause, root; womb, matrix, uterus, hysteria, pregnancy
mamaeth = (wet) nurse, foster-mother, mother
mamaetha = to nurse (a child), suckle, foster, nourish, cherish
mamedd = motherhood
mamiaith = mother tongue, vernacular
mamwlad = mother country, motherland, native land
Old Cornish mam = mother
Middle Cornish mam = mother
Cornish (Kernewek) mamm [mæm], mabm = mother
mammeth = foster-mother, wet nurse
mammik = mum
mammrewl, mammrowl = matriarchy
mamm-wynn = grandmother
mamm vesydh = godmother
Middle Breton mamm = mother
Breton (Brezhoneg) mamm [ˈmãmː] = mother, female (animal), womb
mammanv = matron, matriarch
mammelezh = motherhood, maternity
mammvro = motherland, homeland
mamm-gozh = grandmother

Etymology: from the Proto-Indo-European *mammā (mummy, mum) [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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