Celtic Pathways – Baskets

In this episode we’re looking into baskets, bundles and related things.

Baskets

The Proto-Celtic word *baskis means a bundle or load, and comes from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰask- (bandle, band) [Source].

Related words in Celtic language include:

  • basc = circular necklet or neckband in Middle Irish
  • basc = round, red, scarlet in Scottish Gaelic
  • baich [bai̯χ] = burden, heavy load, labour, duty, sin, sorrow, woe, responsibility, a load or a dry measure in Welsh
  • begh = burden, load in Cornish
  • bec’h = difficulty, effort in Breton

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include bascauda (woven mat or vessel to hold basketwork) in Late Latin, bâche (tarpaulin, canvas sheet, cover) in French, vascullo (broom, bundle of straw) in Galician, basket in English, فَشْقَار (fašqār – a heap of sheaves) in Arabic.

Incidentally, the Irish word bascaed, the Scottish Gaelic basgaid, the Manx basca(i)d/baskad, the Welsh word basged and the Cornish basket, all of which mean basket, were borrowed from English. The Breton word for basket, paner, was borrowed from the French panier (basket), from the Latin pānārium (breadbasket), from pānis (bread, loaf) [source].

Other words from the PIE root *bʰask- include fascis (bundle, burden, load, high office) in Latin, and possibly bast (fibre made from certain plants used for matting and cord) in English, bast (bast, raffia) in Danish, bast (inner bark, velvet, skin, hide) in Dutch, and bashkë (together, simultaneously) in Albanian [source].

You can be find more details of words for Burdensome Loads 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.

Adventures in Etymology – Quibble

In this Adventure we getting all trivial and petty and looking into the origins of the word quibble.

Quibble

Quibble [ˈkwɪbəl] means:

  • A pun (rare. from 17th century)
  • An objection or argument based on an ambiguity of wording or similar trivial circumstance; a minor complaint.
  • To complain or argue in a trivial or petty manner.
  • To contest, especially some trivial issue in a petty manner.

It comes from quib (a quip or gibe), probably from Latin quibus (in what respect, how?), which appeared frequently in legal documents and came to be suggestive of the verbosity and petty argumentation found therein. [source].

Quibus comes from quī/quis (who, that, which, any), from Proto-Italic *kʷoi (who, what), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷós/*kʷís (who, what, which, that) [source].

Words from the same roots include what, who, why, when, which, how in English, and similar question words in other Indo-European languages [source].

Incidentally, the word quip (a smart, sarcastic turn or jest; a taunt; a severe retort or comeback) possibly comes from Latin quippe (indeed, since, after all, why), from quid (what, why, well), from PIE *kʷid, a form of kʷís (who, what, which) [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

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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Celtic Pathways – Rivers

In this episode we’re diving into words for river.

Afon Ogwen River

A Proto-Celtic word for river was *abonā/*abū, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₂ep- (water, body of water) [Source].

Related words in Celtic language include:

  • abhainn [əunʲ/oːn̠ʲ] = river in Irish
  • abhainn [a.ɪn̪ʲ] = river or stream in Scottish
  • awin [ˈawənʲ] = river in Manx
  • afon [ˈavɔn] = river or stream in Welsh
  • avon [ˈavɔn] = river in Cornish
  • aven [ˈɑː.ven] = river in Breton

The names of the river Avon in England and the river A’an (Avon) in Scotland were borrowed from Proto-Brythonic the *aβon (river) [source].

Words from the same PIE roots include अप् (ap – water, Virgo) in Sanskrit, and possibly words for ape in English and other Germanic languages, which might have originally referred to a water sprite [source].

Another Proto-Celtic word for river was *rēnos, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₃reyH- (to flow, stream) [source].

Related words in Celtic languages include:

  • rían [r͈ʲiːa̯n] = sea, ocean, path, course, way or manner in Old Irish
  • rian = course, path, mark, trace, track or vigour in modern Irish
  • rian [r̪ʲian] = method, mode, system, arrangement, control, management, order or sense in Scottish Gaelic
  • rane = stanza, track or verse in Manx

Names for the river Rhine in many languages come from the same roots, via the Latin Rhēnus and/or Gaulish Rēnos. For example, the English word Rhein comes from Middle English Rine/Ryne, from Old English Rīn, from Middle/Old High German Rīn, from Proto-West Germanic *Rīn, from Proto-Germanic *Rīnaz, from Gaulish Rēnos [source].

The Latin word rīvus (small stream, brook, rivulet) comes from the same PIE roots, and is the root of river-related words in Romance languages, such as rio in Italian and Portuguese, and ruisseau (stream, brook, creek) in French [source].

Incidentally, the English word river comes from Middle English ryver/river(e), from Anglo-Norman rivere, from Old French riviere, from Vulgar Latin *rīpāria (riverbank, seashore, river), from Latin rīpārius (of a riverbank), from Latin rīpa (river bank), from PIE *h₁reyp- (to scratch, tear, cut) [source].

You can be find more details of Celtic words for river 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.

Adventures in Etymology – Haven

In this Adventure we’re finding a safe haven and other peaceful places.

Armadale harbour

A haven [ˈheɪvən] is:

  • A harbour or anchorage protected from the sea
  • A place of safety
  • A peaceful place

It comes from Middle English haven(e), from Old English hæfen [ˈxæ.fen] (inlet, harbour, port), from Proto-Germanic *hab(a)nō [ˈxɑ.βɑ.nɔː] (harbour, haven), from PIE *kh₂p(ó)neh₂, from *keh₂p- (to take, seize, grasp) [source].

The English word abra, which means a narrow mountain pass, was borrowed from Spanish abra (small bay, inlet, glade, clearing), which comes from French havre (haven), and comes ultimately from Proto-Germanic *hab(a)nō via Middle Dutch, Old Dutch and Proto-West-Germanic, or Old Danish and Old Norse [source].

Other words from the same Proto-Germanic roots include Hafen (harbour, port, haven) in German, haven (harbour, port) in Dutch, hamn (harbour) in Swedish, and havn (harbour, haven) in Danish [source].

Incidentally, the word heaven doesn’t come from the same roots as haven. Instead it comes from Middle English heven(e) [ˈhɛv(ə)nə] (heaven, the heavens), from Old English heofon [ˈxe͜o.fon] (sky, heaven), from Proto-West-Germanic *hebun (sky, heaven), the roots of which are uncertain [source].

In case you’re interested, here details of the origins of the word harbour.

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

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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Celtic Pathways – Fields and Quays

In this episode we are looking into words for field, quay and related things.

Mersey ferry

The Proto-Celtic word *kagyom means a pen or enclosure. It comes from the Proto-Indo-European *kagʰyóm (enclosure) [Source].

Related words in modern Celtic language include:

  • cai [ˈalˠə] = field, orchard or crop in Old Irish
  • cae [ˈalarχ/ˈaːlarχ] = hedge, hedgerow, fence; field, enclosure; circle, sphere; barrier or obstruction in Welsh
  • ke = hedge or fence in Cornish
  • kae = hedge or quay in Breton

The English word quay in English, was borrowed from the French word quai (quay, wharf, platfrom), which comes from the Latin caium (storehouse, shop, workshop, quay, wharf), from the Gaulish cagiíun/*kagyom, from the Proto-Celtic *kagyom. The Portuguese word cais (quay, wharf, pier) comes from the same roots [Source].

Other words from the same roots include:

  • [kʲeː] = quay in Irish
  • cidhe [kʲi.ə] = quay in Scottish Gaelic
  • keiy = jetty or quay(side) in Manx
  • cei [kei̯] = quay in Welsh
  • kay = quay in Cornish

The Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx words for quay come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via the Anglo-Norman kay, cail (quay, wharf) and Gaulish [source]. The Welsh and Cornish words for quay also come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via Middle English, Old French and Gaulish [source].

There are quite a few other words for Fields, Meadows and Pastures in Celtic languages. You can be find more details 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.

Adventures in Etymology – Chemise

In this Adventure we are uncovering the origins of the word chemise and related items of clothing.

Chemise - blouse Alice

A chemise [ʃəˈmiːz] is:

  • A short nightdress, or similar piece of lingerie
  • A woman’s dress that fits loosely
  • A wall that lines the face of a bank or earthwork
  • A loose shirtlike undergarment, especially for women (historical)

It comes from French chemise (shirt, folder, chemise (wall-enforcing earthwork)), from Old French chemise, from Late Latin camīsia (shirt, nightgown), from Gaulish camisia (shirt), from Frankish *chamithia (shirt) from Proto-Germanic *hamiþiją (shirt), from PIE *ḱam- (to cover, conceal) [source].

Words from the same roots include shimmy in English, chemise (shirt, folder) in French, camisa (shirt) in Spanish, hemd (shirt, undershirt) in Dutch, Hemd (shirt) in German, and komża (surplice) in Polish [source].

The Arabic word قميص‎ (qamīṣ – shirt or robe) was probably borrowed from Latin camisia. It was also borrowed into English as kameez [kəˈmiːz], as in shalwar kameez (a loose shirt worn in some South Asian and Islamic countries), and into various languages in South Asia, via Urdu قَمِیْض (qamīz – shirt) [source].

donkeymen

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

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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Adventures in Etymology – Obtuse Pronking

In this Adventure we are being indirect and circuitous and looking for an angle on the word obtuse.

Obtuse Climbing Angle

Obtuse [əbˈtjuːs] means:

  • Blunt, pointed or acute in form
  • More than 90° and less than 180°
  • Intellectually dull or dim-witted
  • Deadened, muffled or mutted (sound)
  • Indirect or circuitous

Obtuse comes from Middle French obtus (obtuse, boring, dull, lifeless), from the Latin obtūsus (blunt, dull, obtuse), from obtundō (to batter, beat, strike, blunt, dull), from ob- (against) and tundō (to beat, strike, bruise, crush, pound), from PIE *(s)tewd- (to push, hit) [source].

Words from the same roots include student, study and studio in English, and tundir (to shear, mow) in Spanish [source].

Also from the same roots we get the word stot, which means a leap using all four legs at once. This is what springboks, Thomson’s gazelles, pronghorns and other species do as a way to show predators that they would be difficult to catch (see below) [source].

Pronking

Stotting is also known as pronking or pronging, which come from Afrikaans pronk (to show off, strut or prance), from Dutch pronken (to display, show off) [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

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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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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