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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Omniglot News (14/08/22)

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

This week there are new language pages about:

  • Ambel (galí Ambél), a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on the island of Waigeo, which is part of the Raja Ampat Regency in West Papua Province in eastern Indonesia.
  • North Marquesan (Te èo ènana), an Eastern Polynesian language spoken in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.
  • South Marquesan (Te èo ènata), an Eastern Polynesian language spoken in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • North Marquesan (Te èo ènana)
  • South Marquesan (Te èo ènata)
  • Shan (လိၵ်ႈတႆး), a Southwestern Tai language spoken in northern Myanmar, southern China and northern Thailand.
  • Tai Lue (ᦅᧄᦺᦑᦟᦹᧉ), a Southwestern Tai language spoken in China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
  • Ahom (𑜒𑜑𑜪𑜨), a Tai-Kadai language formerly spoken in the Indian state of Assam, which is being revived.

There’s an Omniglot blog post about the French word Essuie-tout (paper towel) and related things, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language was once widely spoken across North Africa and the Middle East, but there are now only small numbers of speakers.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Akawaio (Ka’pon), a Cariban language spoken in northern Brazil and eastern Venezuela.

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

There’s an episode of the Celtic Pathways podcast about words for Bards and Poets and related people.

In the Adventure in Etymology we find out what links the word Sneeze with words like pneumatic, pneumonia and pneu (tire/tyre in French).

I wrote a new song this week called That’s When We’ll Do That Thing. It’s based on idioms for things that are very unlikely to happen or will never happen, like pigs flying or hell freezing over. It sounds a bit like this:

I also made improvements to the Dehong Dai / Tai Le script page, Tai Nuea and Tai Lue language pages, and there are now recordings of all the Western Armenian phrases.

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 (31/07/22)

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

This week there are new language pages about:

  • Hadza (Hadzane), a language isolate spoken around Lake Eyasi in northern Tanzania
  • Hejazi Arabic (حجازي), a variety of Arabic spoken mainly in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Budukh (Будад мез), a North East Caucasian language spoken in the northeast of Azerbaijan.
  • Tindi (Идараб мицци), a Northeast Caucasian language spoken in the southwest of Dagestan in the Russian Republic.
  • Hejazi Arabic (حجازي), a variety of Arabic spoken mainly in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia.

On the Omniglot blog this week we have a post called Kenning, about the words ken and kenning, and related words in English and other languages, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in the west of the Russian Federation.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Hlai, a group of Kam-Tai languages spoken in central Hainan Province in southern China.

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

Here’s a song I released this week, though actually wrote back in April 2022:

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

The Polyglottals (Richard Simcott, Simon Ager and Chris Taylor)
Some friends who came to visit Bangor this week (Photo by Richard Simcott)

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 (10/07/22)

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

This week there are new language pages about:

  • Sayula Popoluca (yamay ajw), a Mixe language spoken in the southern Veracruz in southeastern Mexico.
  • Oluta Popoluca (Yaak’awü), a Mixe language spoken in the southern Veracruz in southeastern Mexico.
  • Dominican Creole (kwéyòl), a French-based creole spoken in the Dominican Republic.

New adapated scripts:

Qurditsuraya (ܩܘ̣ܪܕܝ̤ܬܣܘ̣ܪܝܝܐ) is a way to write the Kurdish languages with the Syriac script devised by Allison Powell. It looks something like this:

ܗܥ̣ܡܘ݄ ܡܝ̤ܖܘ̇ܘ݅ ܐܙܐܕ ܘ݄ ܕܝ̤ ܘܥ̣ܩܐܖ ܘ݄ ܡܐܦ݆ܐܢܢ ܕܥ̣ ܘܥ̣ܟܗܥ̣ܘ݅ ܬܥ݄ܢ ܕܝ̤ܢܝܐܝܥ݄܀ ܥ̣ܘ ܚܘܥ̣ܕܝ̣ ܗܝ̤ܫ ܘ݄ ܫܘ̣ܘ݄ܖ ܝ̤ܢ ܘ݄ ܕܝ̤ܘ݅ܥ݄ ܠܝ̤ ܗܥ̣ܡܒܥ̣ܖ ܗܥ̣ܘ݅ ܒܝ̤ ܙܝ̤ܗܢܝ̤ܝܥ̣ܬܥ̣ܟܥ̣ ܒܖܐܬܝ̤ܝܥ݄ ܒܝ̤ܠܝ̤ܘ݅ܝ̤ܢ܀

Jawacaraka (ꦗꦮꦕꦫꦏ) is a way to write Indonesian and Malay languages with the Javanese script devised by Allison Powell. It looks something like this:

ꦱꦼꦩꦸꦴ ꦎꦫꦁ ꦢꦶꦭꦲꦶꦂꦏꦤ꧀ ꦩꦼꦢꦺꦏ ꦢꦤ꧀ ꦩꦼꦩ꧀ꦥꦸꦚꦻ ꦩꦂꦠꦧꦠ꧀ ꦢꦤ꧀ ꦲꦏ꧀꧇꧒꧇ ꦪꦁ ꦱꦩ꧉ ꦩꦼꦫꦺꦏ ꦢꦶꦏꦫꦸꦤꦾꦻ ꦄꦏꦭ꧀ ꦢꦤ꧀ ꦲꦠꦶ ꦤꦸꦫꦤꦶ ꦢꦤ꧀ ꦲꦼꦤ꧀ꦢꦏ꧀ꦚ ꦧꦼꦂꦒꦻꦴꦭ꧀ ꦱꦠꦸ ꦱꦩ ꦭꦻꦤ꧀ ꦢꦭꦀ ꦱꦼꦩꦔꦠ꧀ ꦥꦼꦂꦱꦻꦴꦢꦴꦤ꧀꧉

Hocąk (һиоча̃к / һоча̃к) is an alternative way to write Ho-Chunk with the Cyrillic alphabet devised by Ruslan Safarov. It looks something like this:

Һиąҹиһиўíра ўąгереги шанąкере, рáш һашíнина ўакąčą́к ни̃гигирекҹенą. Һųгмą́ һашíнина һираиҹикҹаўина. Ўошгą́ һашíнина мąнéги ъųирекҹенą, ўąгереги ҹасге һинąкъи̃, жесге мąнéги һирекҹена. Һąп теé ўаисгабетúč һанíўира һокъųўиąҹе.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Sayula Popoluca (yamay ajw), a Mixe language spoken in the southern Veracruz in southeastern Mexico.
  • Yonaguni (ドゥナンムヌイ), a Southern Ryukyuan language spoken on Yonaguni, one of the Ryūkyū islands in southern Japan.
  • Dominican Creole (kwéyòl), a French-based creole spoken in the Dominican Republic.

On the Omniglot blog this week we go Dahu Hunting, or in others words, we go on a wild goose chase after imaginary creatures such as the dahu and the wampahoofus, There’s also the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language has it’s own alphabet, and is also written with several other alphabets.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Alabama (Albaamo innaaɬiilka), an Eastern Muskogean language spoken on the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation in the southeast of Texas, USA.

There are new Celtiadur posts are about words for Waterfalls, Ferns and Bracken and related things in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology we’re playing with the word daff.

I posted a new song called Pannas Owen, which is in Welsh and is about the eternal search of Owen’s Parsnips. I was inspired to write it back in July 2021 when a Dutch friend sent me a load of interesting phrases from the Welsh course on Duolingo concerning Owen and parsnips. It took me a while to make a reasonable recording. It sounds a bit like this:

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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Adventures in Etymology – Puffin

Today we’re exploring the origins of the word puffin.

Puffins

A puffin [ˈpʌfɪn] is:

  • Any of the various small seabirds of the genera Fratercula and Lunda that are black and white with a brightly-coloured beak, such as the Atlantic or common puffin (Fratercula arctica).

It comes from the Middle English poffon / poffin / puffon (puffin and other sea-birds of the family Alcidae), perhaps from puf(f), from the Old English pyf (a blast of wind) – of imitative origin. Or it possibly comes from Anglo-Norman or Cornish [source].

The word puffin first appeared in English in the 14th century, and originally referred to the cured meat of young Manx shearwaters (Puffinus puffinus), which were originally known as the Manks puffin. Atlantic puffins acquired the name puffin in the 19th century, possibly due to similar nesting habits [source].

In French the word puffin [py.fɛ̃] refers to the shearwater, and was borrowed from English [source]. A puffin is a perroquet de mer (“sea parrot”) or macareux in French – not to be confused with maquereau (mackerel) [source].

The Latin name from the puffin Fratercula, comes from Medieval Latin and means “friar” or “little brother”, from the Latin frater (brother, friend, lover, sibling) and is a reference to their black and white plumage, which apparently looks like a monk’s robes [source].

Puffins are also known as sea-parrots, popes, sea clowns, clowns of the sea, tomnoddies, tammie norries, little brothers of the north, and various other things. Young puffins are known as pufflings, puffins live in puffinries, and a group of puffins is a circus or colony (on land), a wheel (when flying) or a raft (on water).

In Iceland, where puffins are common, shops that sell souvenirs, many of which are puffin-themed, are known as “puffin shops”, or lundabúðir in Icelandic [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

Here’s a lovely little song about puffins written by Malinda Kathleen Reese in collaboration with her followers:

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

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 (05/06/22)

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

This week there are new language pages about:

  • Dhatki (धाटकी / ڍاٽڪي), a Western Rajasthani language spoken in southern Pakistan and northeasten India.
  • Penobscot (pαnawαhpskewi), an Eastern Abenaki language spoken Penobscot County in Maine in the USA.
  • Moose Cree (ᐃᓕᓖᒧᐧᐃᓐ / ililîmowin), a central Algonquian language spoken Moose Factory Island in Ontario, Canada.

There are a new numbers pages in: Penobscot and Moose Cree, and in Kutchi (કચ્છી), an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Gujarat in India and Sindh in Pakistan.

There’s a new constructed script called Pangeul, which is an alternative way to write Esperanto and French devised by Paoli Mbongo and inspired by the Korean Hangeul alphabet.

Sample text in the Pangeul alphabet in Esperanto

There’s an Omniglot blog posts called Pepper and Salt, which is about words that always or usually go together in a particular order, also known to linguists as binomials. Such as salt and pepper in English, which is usually peper en zout (pepper and salt) in Dutch. There’s also a post about words for Moose in Cree languages, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in the far north.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Khorchin Mongolian (ᠬᠣᠷᠴᠢᠨ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in the Hinggan League in the east of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north of China.

There are new Celtiadur posts are about words for Tin and Metal and related things in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology we’re looking into the origins of the word circus.

Here’s a little song called Ffaldiral that I wrote yesterday in Welsh and English. It’s based on the Welsh word canu, which means to sing, and can mean various other things.

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 (20/02/22)

Here are the latest developments on the Omniglot websites.

This week there are new language pages about:

  • Tawbuid (Batangan / Bangon), a South Mangyan language spoken in the centre of Mindoro Island in the Mimaropa region of the Philippines.
  • Ambala (Ayta Ambala), a Sambalic language spoken in the Central Luzon region of the Philippines.
  • Hatang Kayi, a Central Philippine language spoken in the provinces of Quezon and Rizal on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

There’s a new adapated script: Greek Arabic (Αλ-γ̲αραπυιιατȣ λ-ιωνάνυιιαχ̌), a way to write Arabic with the Greek alphabet devised by Mohammad Shakeb Baig.

There are new numbers pages in:

  • Andi (къIaваннаб мицци), a Northeast Caucasian language spoken in Dagestan in the Russian Federation.
  • Kodava, (ಕೊಡವ ತಕ್ಕು), a Dravidian language spoken in Karnataka state in southern India.
  • Aheri Gondi, a South-Central Dravidian language spoken in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Telangan.

There’s a new article about Ancient language and extra-Indo-European language in Britain.

I wrote a new song – a lullaby called Lillilu, which is a Scots word for lullaby, inspired by this video by misspunnypennie on TikTok.

On the Omniglot blog we have a post about words for lullabys, a post about the Norfolk dialect word gadwaddick, which means to go on a pleasure trip or jaunt, or to gad about, and a new Language Quiz

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Dovahzul, or the Dragon Language, a constructed language that appears in some of the Elder Scrolls series of video games. The recording was from an original song called Vokul Fen Mah (Evil Will Fall) by Malukah, a wonderful singer-songwriter from Mexico.

Another version of this song with Malukah and Peter Hollens:

There are Celtiadur posts about words for smiths and walls and related things in Celtic languages.

The Adventure in Etymology this week tries to see the wood for the trees by looking into the origins of the word wood.

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 (23/01/22)

Here are details of the latest developments on Omniglot websites and blogs.

The new languages on Omniglot this week are:

  • Lambya (Ichilambya), a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
  • Chakhar (ᠴᠠᠬᠠᠷ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in the central region of Inner Mongolia in northern China.
  • Barin (ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠷᠢᠨ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in the southeast of Inner Mongolia in northern China.
  • Nusu, a Loloish language spoken in southern China and northern Myanmar/Burma.

There’s a new numbers page in: Tsakonian (τσακώνικα), a variety of Greek spoken in the Tsakonian region of the Peloponnese in Greece.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about druids or Oak Knowers, a post about Playing Around which looks at ways to say ‘to play’ in English, Portuguese and Welsh, and the usual Language Quiz.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Lambya (Ichilambya), a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

On the Celtiadur this week there’s a post about words for knowledge and related things in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology we find out how the word dust is related to words such as dusk, dune and fume.

I wrote a new song about dust, which goes something like this:

I also made improvements to the Russian, Krymchak and Thai language pages, the Theban alphabet page, and the Ukrainian numbers page

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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Episode 50 – Solstice

As I recorded this episode 21st December, I decided to look at the meanings and origins of some seasonal words.

Solstice [ˈsɒl.stɪs/ˈsɑl.stɪs] – from Old French solstice (solstice), from the Latin sōlstitium ((summer) solstice), from sōl (sun) and sistō (to stand still) [source].

Winter solstice

Sāturnālia [ˈsɒl.stɪs/ˈsɑl.stɪs] – an ancient Roman holiday honouring Saturn, the Roman of fertility and agriculture. It began on 17th December and was originally a one-day celebration. That was extended to three days during the 2nd century BC, and later extended to seven days [source].

During this time work stopped, and businesses, schools and courts were closed. Slaves were given time off and were served by their masters. People wore colourful clothes, decorated their houses with green branches and other things, gave each other gifts, and spent time with their families and friends eating, drinking, singing, making music, gambling and generally having a good time [source].

In Germanic-speaking cultures Yule originally lasted for whole of December and January. After the arrival of Christianity, the 12 days of Christmas became the main focus of the celebrations. The word yule comes from the Middle English yol (Yuletide, Christmas), from the Old English ġēol/ġeōl (Yuletide, Christmas midwinter) [source].

December is the 12th month of the year, but in the Roman calendar it was the tenth month, and the word December comes from the Latin decem (10) [source].

In Irish December is Mí na Nollag, or literally “the month of Christmas” [source]. In Scottish Gaelic it is an Dùbhlachd, which means “the darkening” [source]. In Welsh December is Rhagfyr, which means the “foreshortening”, referring to the short days [source].

Theme tune

Friday Afternoon / Prynhawn Dydd Gwener

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 (12/12/21)

The new language pages on Omniglot this week are:

  • Poqomam (Qaq’oral), a Mayan language spoken mainly in the Jalapa Department in southern Guatemala.
  • Tektitek (B’a’aj), a Mayan language spoken mainly in the department of Huehuetenango in western Guatemala.
  • Uspantek (Uspanteko), a Mayan language spoken mainly in the department of Quiché in western Guatemala.

There are new numbers pages in the following languages (all of which are Mayan): Q’eqchi’, Q’anjob’al, Sakapultek, Yucatec Maya, Tektitek and Awakatek.

There’s a new page with a collection of Penny Pinching idioms and sayings in various languages that mean someone is stingy, tight or careful with their money.

On the Omniglot blog we find out when a chair is not a chair in a post entitled Soapy Chairs, and there’s the usual Language Quiz.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Paha, a Kra language spoken in Wenshan Prefecture in Yunnan Province in southern China.

The Celtiadur post this week is about words for Grace and Favour in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology this week we’re telling tales about the origins of the word tale.

I also made improvements to the Yucatec Maya and Awakatek language pages.

In other news, I made a little video of a tune I wrote a few years ago called The Whistling Windows / Y Ffenstri Sïo, which you can find on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube:

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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