Celtic Pathways – Swans

In this episode we are looking into words for swan.

Swans, etc

In Proto-Celtic word for swan was *eli-, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁el- (swan, bird, waterfowl) [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • eala [ˈalˠə] = swan in Irish
  • eala [jal̪ˠə] = swan in Scottish Gaelic
  • olla(y) = (mute) swan in Manx
  • alarch [ˈalarχ/ˈaːlarχ] = swan, the constellation Cygnus in Welsh
  • alargh = (mute) swan in Cornish
  • alarc’h = swan in Breton

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include alondra (lark) in Spanish, alouette (lark) in French, and allodola (skylark) in Italian. They were probably borrowed from the Gaulish alauda (skylark), from ala (swan) [Source].

Other words from the PIE root *h₁el- include auk in English, olor (swan) in Latin, alke (auk) in Danish and Norwegian, and álka (razorbill) in Faroese and Icelandic [Source].

More details of words for swan in Celtic languages can be found on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Celtic Pathways – New & Year

In this episode we are looking into words for new and year in Celtic languages.

A multilingual Happy New Year!

One Proto-Celtic word for new is *nouyos, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *néw(y)os (new), from which most words for new in Indo-European languages are descended [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • nua [n̪ˠuə / n̪ˠuː] = new, fresh, recent, novel; newness, new thing in Irish
  • nuadh [nuəɣ] = new, fresh, recent, novel, modern, unfamiliar in Scottish Gaelic
  • noa = fresh, modern, new, novel, original, recent, unused in Manx
  • newydd [ˈnɛu̯.ɨ̞ð] = new, recent, newly-grown, modern, late, novel, changed, fresh in Welsh
  • nowydh = fresh, new, novel, newly, just in Cornish
  • nevez [ˈne.ve] = new in Breton

The town of Noia in A Coruña in Galicia in the northwest of Spain probably gets its name from the same Proto-Celtic root, possibly via the Celtiberian nouiza [Source].

Another Proto-Celtic word for new is *ɸūros, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *puHrós (wheat), possibly from *pewH- (to be clean, pure) [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • úr [uːɾˠ] = fresh; free, liberal, moist in Irish
  • ùr [uːr] = new, fresh in Scottish Gaelic
  • oor = new, sweet, novel, sappy, crisp, span, fresh, hour, raw in Manx
  • ir [iːr] = verdant, green, juicy, sappy, moist, succulent in Welsh
  • yr [ɪ:r/iːr] = fresh in Cornish

Words from the same PIE roots include pure in English, პური (ṗuri – bread, wheat) in Georgian, and պուրի (puri – a type of Georgian bread) in Armenian [Source].

In Proto-Celtic words for year were *blēdanī/*bleido. which possibly come from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰloyd- (pale) [source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • bliain [bʲlʲiənʲ] = year in Irish
  • bliadhna [bliən̪ˠə] = year, vintage in Scottish Gaelic
  • blein = [blʲeːnʲ / blʲiᵈn] = year, twelvemonth in Manx
  • blwyddyn [ˈblʊɨ̯ðɨ̞n] = year, a long time, ages; lifetime, life in Welsh
  • bledhen = year in Cornish
  • bloavezh = year in Breton

Words from the same PIE root include бледный (pale) in Russian, бледен (pale, pallied, insignificant) in Bulgarian, and bledý (pale) in Czech [source].

More details of new and year-related words in Celtic languages can be found on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Javelin

In this episode we’re getting to grips with the word javelin.

Javlin

A javelin is a light spear thrown with the hand and used as a weapon, or a metal-tipped spear thrown for distance in an athletic field event. It comes from the Old French javelline (javelin), a diminutive of javelot (javelin), from the Vulgar Latin *gabalottus (spear), from the Gaulish *gabalos (fork), from the Proto-Celtic gablā- (fork, forked branch), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰabʰlos (fork, branch of tree) [source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • gabhal [ɡoːəl̪ˠ] = bifurcation, fork, crotch, junction in Irish
  • gobhal [ɡoːəl̪ˠ] = bifurcation, fork, crotch, junction in Scottish Gaelic
  • goal = fork, branch, crotch, crutch, junction, perineum in Manx
  • gafl [gafl] = fork, stride, lap, inner part of the thigh, groin, angle, nook in Welsh
  • gowl = crotch, fork in Cornish
  • goal = fork in Breton

The English word gable comes from the same Gaulish root, via the Old French gable [source]. The English word gaffle (a lever used to bend a crossbow) possibly comes from the same Gaulish root, via Middle English gaffolle, the Middle Dutch gaf(f)el (fork) and the Proto-West Germanic *gabulu (fork) [source].

Words in other languages from the same Gaulish root include Gaffel (gaff) in German, gaffel (fork) in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and kahveli (gaff, fork) in Finnish [source].

More details of fork-related words in Celtic languages can be found on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Coracle

In this episode we’re getting out onto the river to look into the word coracle.

John Baker's Doppelmonk Brogue K188 Kalbsleder hellbraun (brown) (1)

A coracle is a small, rounded, lightweight boat traditionally used in Wales, in parts of the West Country of England. in Ireland and in Scotland. It is made of a framework of split and interwoven willow rods, tied with willow bark and traditionally covered with an animal skin such as horse or bullock hide, with a thin layer of tar to waterproof it. These days calico, canvas or fibreglass are used instead of animal hide [source].

They are also known as currachs/curraghs in Ireland and Scotland, and these words were all borrowed from Celtic languages: coracle from Welsh, currach/curragh from Irish or Scottish Gaelic.

Related words in Celtic language include:

  • curach [kəˈɾˠax] = currach, coracle in Irish
  • curach [kurəx] = coracle, curragh, frame (of a coracle or an animal) in Scottish Gaelic
  • curragh [ˈkɔrʊɡ(i)] = coracle, canoe in Manx
  • corwg(l) = coracle, skiff; vessel, drinking vessel in Welsh
  • koroug = coracle in Cornish
  • korac’h = coracle in Breton

These words comes from the Proto-Celtic *korukos (leather boat), probably from the PIE *(s)koro- (leather), from *(s)ker- (to cut off) [source].

Words from the same PIE roots include cuir (leather) in French, cuero (leather, animal skin, hide) in Spanish and couro (leather, hide) in Portuguese [source].

More details of shoe– and trouser-related words in Celtic languages can be found on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology / Celtic Pathways – Brogue

In this episode we’re look into the tangled origins of the word brogue. I decided to make this a joint Adventures in Etymology / Celtic Pathways episode rather doing two separate ones. I hope you don’t mind.

John Baker's Doppelmonk Brogue K188 Kalbsleder hellbraun (brown) (1)

The word brogue in English 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.

It comes from the Irish word bróg (boot, shoe), from the Old Irish bróc [broːɡ] (shoe, sandal, greave), 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].

Related words in other Celtic languages include:

  • bròg [brɔːg] = shoe, boot, hoof in Scottish Gaelic
  • braag = brogue, shoe in Manx
  • brog = brogue (shoe) in Welsh

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],

Other words from the Proto-Germanic root *brōks include breeches/britches in English, brók (trousers, underpants) in Icelandic and Faroese, brok (trousers) in Swedish and Norwegian, and broek (trousers) in Dutch [source].

The Irish word bríste (trousers), the Manx word breeçhyn (breeches) and the Welsh word brits/britsh (breeches) were borrowed from the English word breeches. The Scottish Gaelic word briogais (trousers) comes from the Scots breeks (trousers, breeches), from the Middle English breke, from the Old English brēċ [breːt͡ʃ] (underpants) [source].

More details of shoe– and trouser-related words in Celtic languages can be found on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (06/11/22)

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Big Numbas (V’ënen Taut), an Oceanic language spoken in the Big Numbas region in the northwest of Malekula Island in Malampa Province of Vanuatu.
  • Neverver, a Southern Oceanic language spoken on Malekula Island in Malampa Province of Vanuatu.
  • Tamambo (Tamabo), a Remote Oceanic language spoken mainly on Malo Island in Sanma province of Vanuatu.

New constructed script: Katemayar, which was created by Bryson Schnaitmann to write his constructed language, Kynaatt.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Katemayar

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Ambel (galí Ambél), a Malayo-Polynesian spoken mainly on Waigeo island in West Papua province in eastern Indonesia.
  • Big Numbas (V’ënen Taut), an Oceanic language spoken in the Big Numbas region in the northwest of Malekula Island in Malampa Province of Vanuatu.
  • Paku, an East Barito language spoken in Central Kalimantan province of Indonesia.
  • Warao, a language isolate spoken in Delta Amacuro, Monagas and Sucre states of Venezuela.

There’s an Omniglot blog post called Tidy! about Dutch words for tidying and cleaning, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in Italy.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Tamahaq, a Northern Berber language spoken in southern Algeria, western Libya and northern Niger.

There are new Celtiadur posts about words for Halloween, Hosts of Folks and related things in Celtic languages.

On the Celtic Pathways podcast we have a A Slew of Slogans, which is about words for slogan, slew and related things.

In the Adventure in Etymology find possible links between the word rubble and words such as rubbish, hale, hail, whole and holy.

Here’s a bit of music – some Minor Noodles that I recorded yesterday featuring a friend on the guitar and me on the mandolin:

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (30/10/22)

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Batak Angkola, a Southern Batak language spoken in the province of North Sumatra in Indonesia
  • Batak Dairi (Kata Pakpak), a Northern Batak language spoken in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Batak Karo (cakap Karo), a Northern Batak language spoken in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Batak Simalungun (Sahap Simalungun), a Southern Batak language spoken in the province of North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Batak Mandailing (Saro Mandailing), a Southern Batak language spoken in North Sumatra Province in Indonesia.
  • Batak Toba (Hata Batak Toba), a Southern Batak language spoken in the province of North Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • Makalero, a Timor-Alor-Pantar language in the municipality of Lautém in the east of East Timor.

New constructed script: Jierimse, which was invented by Kobey Hill as an alternative way to write Austalian English, and was inspired by the Glagolitic and Ge’ez scripts.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Jierimse

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Tobelo, a West Papuan language spoken in the provinces of North Maluku and Papua in Indonesia.
  • Kembayan, a Southern Land Dayak language spoken in West Kalimantan province of Indonesia
  • Kambera (hilu Humba), a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in Sumba Island in eastern Indonesia.

There are new Tower of Babel translations in:

There’s an Omniglot blog post about spelling and Miss Pelling, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in parts of North Africa

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Äynu (Äynú / ئهﻳنوُ), a Turkic language spoke in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the northwest of China.

There’s a new Celtiadur post about words for Heels and related things in Celtic languages.

On the Celtic Pathways podcast we find out what links the word Clan with words such as children, plant and plantain.

As it’s near the end of October, in the Adventure in Etymology we’re investigating the origins of the word hallow, as in Halloween.

I also made improvements to the Batak script, and made separate pages for Batak languages (mentioned above).

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (16/10/22)

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Löyöp, an Oceanic language spoken in the east of Ureparapara Island in northern Vanuatu.
  • Lehali (Loli), an Oceanic language spoken in the west of Ureparapara Island in northern Vanuatu.
  • Mao (Emela), an Angami-Pochuri language spoken in Manipur and Nagaland the northeast of India.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Aleut (Unangam Tunuu), an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken on the Alaskan Peninsula, and the Aleutian, Pribilof and Commander Islands.
  • Ge’ez (ግዕዝ), the classical language of Ethiopia which is still used as a liturgical language by Ethiopian christians and the Beta Israel Jewish community of Ethiopia.
  • Ketengban (Oktengban), a Trans-New Guinea language spoken West Papua in Indonesia.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post called Jealous Envy, which is about the differences between the words jealousy and envy, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in the northeast of India and in eastern Nepal.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was
Louisiana Creole (Kréyòl La Lwizyàn), a French-based creole spoken mainly in Louisiana in the USA.

There’s a new Celtiadur post about words for Gloves and Sleeves and related things in Celtic languages.

On the Celtic Pathways podcast we stroll around the words for step, path and related things in Celtic languages.

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we find out what links the word jelly with words such as cold, chill and glacier.

I also made improvements to the Balinese language, Balinese phrases and Balinese numbers pages.

I wrote a new song called What Did I Come In Here For? – something that I’m sure many people can relate to.

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (25/09/22)

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Gourmanchéma (gùlmàncéma), a Gur language spoken mainly in Burkina Faso, and also in Togo, Niger and Benin.
  • Konkomba (Likpakpaln), a Gur language spoken mainly in northern Ghana, and also in northern Togo.
  • Moba (Muaba), a Gur language spoken mainly in northern Togo, and also in southeastern Burkina Faso.

There’s a new constructed script called Mawar, which was created by Eko Wahyu Darmansyah to write his constructed language, Darman.

Sample text in the Mawar

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Rotuman (Fäeag Rotuma), an Oceanic language spoken mainly in the South Pacific island group of Rotuma.
  • Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language that was spoken around the Mediterranean until about the 2nd century AD.
  • Iu Mien (Iu Mienh), a Hmong-Mien language spoken in China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand.
  • Ewe (Èʋegbe), a Volta-Niger language spoken in Ghana, Togo and Benin.

There’s an Omniglot blog post entitled Fangled, which is about words that are newfangled, oldfangled and just fangled, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in Micronesian.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was
Gallo (galo), a Romance language spoken in parts of Brittany and Normandy in the northwest of France.

There’ s a new Celtiadur post about words for Buying and Purchasing and related things in Celtic languages.

There’s an episode of the Celtic Pathways podcast about words for Beer and related things.

In the Adventure in Etymology we burrowing into the origins of the word Rabbit, and related words.

I wrote a new song based on idioms that mean something is easy, such as ‘as easy as falling off a log’. It called As Easy As and sounds a bit like this:

You can hear this song, other songs and tunes I’ve written on SoundCloud.

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Druids

In this episode we’re looking at words for druids and related people.

pondering

The Proto-Celtic *druwits means priest or druid, and comes from the Proto-Celtic *daru (oak) and *wid-/*windeti (to know, to see), from the Proto-Indo-European *dóru (tree) and *weyd (to see, know) [source].

Descendants in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • draoi [d̪ˠɾˠiː] = druid, wizard, magician, augur, diviner, trickster, and draoíocht (magic, druidism, witchcraft, enchantment) in Irish
  • draoidh [drɯj] = druid, sorcerer, magician, wizard, and draoidheachd (magic, sorcery, druidism) in Scottish Gaelic
  • druaight = charm, druid and druaightagh (smithcraft, smithery) in Manx
  • dryw [drɨu̯/drɪu̯] = druid, seer, and derwydd (prophet, wise man, druid) in Welsh
  • drewydh = druid in Cornish
  • drouiz = druid in Breton

The English word druid comes from the French druide (druid), from the Latin as druidae (the druids), from the Gaulish *druwits (druid) [source].

The Proto-Brythonic word *drüw (druid) was borrowed into Old English as drȳ (sorcerer, magician), which became drī(mann)/driʒ(mann) (sorcerer, magician) in Middle English [source]. A few modern druids use the word drymann, or something similiar, to refer to themselves.

Here’s a traditional Welsh tune called Y Derwydd (The Druid) played by me on the mandolin:

Here’s another version of it:

You can find the dots for this tune on The Session.

More details about these words on Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth.

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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