Celtic Pathways – Bills and Gouges

In this episode we find connections between Celtic bills and beaks, and chisels and gouges in other languages.

Chisels

A gouge [ɡaʊdʒ] is a chisel with a curved blade for cutting or scooping channels, grooves, or holes in wood, stone, etc.

The word comes from Middle English gouge (gouge), from Old French gouge (gouge), from Late Latin goia / gu(l)bia (chisel, piercer), from Gaulish *gulbiā (beak, bill), from Proto-Celtic *gulbā / *gulbīnos (beak, bill) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • gulba = beak, bill, tip, point, projection in Irish
  • gulb [gul̪ˠub] = beak, nose in Scottish Gaelic
  • gylf = sharp point, knife, bird’s beak or snout in Welsh
  • gelvin = beak, bill in Cornish
  • gwlib = curlew, whimbrel (?) in Breton

Other words from the same Proto-Celtic roots, via Gaulish and Latin, include gulbia (gouge) in Galician, gubia (gouge) in Spanish, gorbia (ferrule*) in Italian [source].

*A ferrule is band or cap (usually metal) placed around a shaft to reinforce it or to prevent splitting [source].

Field Notes Woodgrain Pencil 6-Pack

Incidentally, the word chisel comes from Old Northern French c(h)isel (cutting tool, chisel), from cisoir (cutting tool), from Late Latin cīsōrium (cutting instrument), from Latin caedō (to cut, hew, fell), from Proto-Italic *kaidō, from PIE *kh₂eyd- (to cut, hew) [source].

Words from the same roots include cement, concise, decide, excise, hit, incision, precise and scissors in English; and hitta (to find, locate) in Swedish [source].

More about words for Beaks and Snouts and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Brio

In this episode we discover the Celtic power behind some vigorous Romance and English words.

Brio

The English word brio [ˈbɹiːoʊ] means vigour or vivacity. When used in musical directions, as con brio, it means with spirit, with vigour, vivciously [source].

It comes from Italian brio (vivacity, liveliness), from Spanish brío (vigour, mettle, zest, zeal), from Old Occitan briu (wild), from Gaulish *brīgos (strength), from Proto-Celtic *brīgos (power, worth), possibly from PIE *bʰerǵʰ- (to rise; high) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • brí [brʲiː] = strength, vigour; force, significance, influence or merit in Irish
  • brìgh [brʲiː] = essence, gist, matter, pith, purport or substance in Scottish Gaelic
  • bree = power, energy, stamina or vigour in Manx
  • bri [briː] = honour, dignity, reputation, fame or prestige in Welsh
  • bri = distinction, importance, relevance or reputation in Cornish
  • bri [briː] = dignity or honour in Breton

Other words from the same Proto-Celtic roots include briu (energy, push, courage) in Catalan, brio (brilliance, panache) in French, and brio in Italian, brío in Spanish (as mentioned above).

Words from the same PIE roots possibly include barrow, burrow, bury, effort, force and fort in English, and brenin (king), bwrw (to hit, strike, cast) in Welsh [Source].

Incidentally, the musical direction forte (f), which indicates that a passage in music is to be played loudly or strongly, also comes from the same PIE roots, via Italian and Latin, as does the English word forte (strength, talent), though via Middle French [Source].

More about words for Strength and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Brooms

In this episode we’re sweeping French floors with Celtic shrubs.

brooms

The Proto-Celtic word *banatlo- means broom, as in the shrub Cytisus scoparius (a.k.a. common broom / Scotch broom) or similar plants. It comes from Proto-Indo-European *bʰenH-tlom (way, path) in the sense of “cleared path (in a wood)” [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • bealaidh [bɛl̪ˠɪ] = broom in Scottish Gaelic
  • banadl [ˈbanadl] = broom in Welsh
  • banadhel = broom in Cornish
  • balan [ˈbɑːlãn] = broom in Breton

They all mean broom, as in the shrub, although the exact species of broom plant they refer to may vary from language to language.

According to An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language by Alexander MacBain (1982), there is a cognate in Irish: beally/i, however it doesn’t appear in any of the Irish dictionaries I’ve checked.

The French word balai (broom, broomstick, brush) ultimately comes from the same Proto-Celtic root, via Old French balain (bundle of broom), Middle Breton balain, balazn, Old Breton balan (broom) and Gaulish *balano- (broom, broom plant), as does bálago (straw, Spanish broom) in Spanish and balea (broom) in Galician, possibly via Celtiberian *bálago-, *bálaco- [source].

Words same PIE roots possibly include bana (course, path, trajectory) in Swedish, baan (road, path, track, job, orbit) in Dutch, and Bahn (route, trail, railway) in German [source].

More about words for Brushes and Broom and related things in Celtic languages.

Incidentally, the tune at the beginning of this episode is one of my own compositions called Apple Blossom / Blodau Afal. Here’s a longer recording of it:

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Fortified Dunes

In this episode we uncover Celtic fortresses among the sand dunes.

Killinallan

A dune is a ridge or hill of sand piled up by the wind. It comes from Proto-West Germanic *dūn(ā) (sand dune, hill), via French or Dutch, from Proto-Germanic *dūnaz (accumulation, pile, heap, mound), or from Gaulish dunum (hill), from Proto-Celtic *dūnom (stronghold, rampart), all of which come from Proto-Indo-European *dʰuHnom (enclosure) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • dún [d̪ˠuːnˠ] (fort(ress), place of refuge, residence, house) in Irish
  • dùn [duːn] (fortress, heap) in Scottish Gaelic
  • doon [duːn] (fort, stronghold) in Manx
  • din [dɪn] (city, fortress, stronghold), and dinas (city) in Welsh
  • din [di:n] (fort) in Cornish
  • din [ˈdĩːn] (fortress) in Breton

Apart from dinas in Welsh, these words are mostly found in placenames, such as Dún Dealgan (Dundalk) in Ireland, Dún Dè(agh) (Dundee) in Scotland, Dinbych (Denbigh) in Wales, Dinmeur (Dunmere) in Cornwall, and Dinan in Brittany.

Words from the same Celtic roots possibly include town and down (a [chalk] hill, rolling grassland) in English, tuin (garden, yard) in Dutch, tún (hayfield) in Icelandic, and тын [tɨn] (fence [especially one made of twigs]) in Russian [source].

Words same PIE roots include dusk, dust and fume in English, dagg (dew) and dy (mud, mire, sludge) in Swedish, and fem (dung, manure) in Catalan [source].

More about words for Castles & fortresses and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Horny Peaks

In this episode we find Romance horns among Celtic peaks and mountains.

Panoramic view from Snowdon / Golygfa panoramig o'r Wyddfa

In Proto-Celtic, the word *bandā means top, peak or horn, and *benno means peak or top. They are thought to be related, and possibly come from the PIE *bendʰ- (pin, point).

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • beann = horn, antler or fork prong in Irish
  • beann [bjaun̪ˠ] = horn, peak or top; and beinn [bein̪ʲ] = mountain or high hill in Scottish Gaelic
  • beinn = mountain, summit or pinnacle in Manx
  • ban [ban] = top, tip, summit or peak in Welsh
  • ban = prominence in Cornish
  • bann = rising, uphill, post or column in Breton

Words from the same Celtic roots include ben (mountain, hill) in Scots, as in Ben Nevis (Beinn Nibheis), etc, banya (horn) and banyut (horned, unfaithful) in Catalan, and bana (horn) in Occitan [source].

Words same PIE roots include peak and pin in English, pinne (chopstick, perch, point) in Swedish, pind (stick, perch, peg) in Danish, and pin (peg, pin) in Dutch [source].

More about words for Peaks and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Bijou Fingers

In this episode we find Celtic fingers among French jewelery.

celtic wedding rings

The French word bijou means a jewel or piece of jewellry. It was borrowed from the Breton bizou (ring, jewel), which comes from biz (finger), which is ultimately comes from the Proto-Celtic *bistis (finger), from the PIE *gʷist- (twig, finger) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • bys [bɨːs / biːs] = finger (of hand/glove), toe, medium, agency, hand (of clock) or latch and byson = ring in Welsh
  • bys = finger, digit, and bysow = ring in Cornish
  • biz [biːs] = finger, hand (of clock), tooth (of tool), leg (of anchor), tentacle or tendril, and bizou [ˈbiːzu] = ring, jewel in Breton

Words from the same PIE roots possibly include kvist (twig, stick) in Norwegian and Swedish, and gisht (finger) in Albanian [source].

The French word bijou was borrowed into English and means a jewel, a piece of jewellery, a trinket, or a small intricate piece of metalwork, which are collectively called bijouterie / bijoutry [source].

Bijou in English can also mean small and elegant (residence), or something that is intricate or finely made. This sense comes via Sabir (Mediterranean Lingua Franca) from Occitan pichon (small, little), which possibly has Celtic roots: from Proto-Celtic *kʷezdis (piece, portion) [source].

In Polari, a cant used in the London fishmarkets, in the British theatre, and by the gay community in the UK, bijou means small or little (often implying affection), and a bijou problemette is a little fault or problem [source].

More about words for Fingers and Toes in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Needles and Scythes

In this episode we discover Romance scythes in a stack of Celtic pins and needles.

Pins and Needles

The Proto-Celtic word *delgos means pin or needle. It comes from Proto-Indo-European *dʰelg- (sting) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • dealg [ˈdʲal̪ˠəɡ] = thorn, prickle, spine, spike, pin, peg or brooch in Irish
  • dealg [dʲal̪ˠag] = pin, skewer or knitting needle in Scottish Gaelic
  • jialg = needle, prick, quill, thorn or pin in Manx
  • dala [ˈdala] = sting or bite in Welsh

Words from the same Proto-Celtic roots, via Gaulish *dalgis (scythe) and Latin *daculum (scythe) , possibly include dall (mowing, billhook) in Catalan, dalle (scythe) in Spanish, and dalha (scythe) in Occitan (Languedoc) [source].

The English word dagger, and related words in other languages, such as daga (dagger) in Spanish, and Degen (rapier, épée) in German, might come from the same Celtic roots [source].

Words from the same PIE root include dálkur (spine of a fish, knife, dagger, newspaper column) in Icelandic, dilgus (prickly) in Lithuanian, falce (scythe, sickle) in Italian, and falcate (shaped like a sickle) and falcifer (sickle-bearing, holding a scythe) in English [source].

More about words for Pins and Needles in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Swampy Cauldrons

In this episode we discover Celtic roots of the name Paris.

Pont des Arts, île de la Cité

Paris is the capital of France and the centre of the Île-de-France or Paris Region. From about 250 BC, the area, particularly the Île de la Cité (see above), an island on the River Seine, was home to the Parisioi, part of the Gaulish Senones tribe.

After the Romans conquered the area in 52 BC, they set up a town on the Left Bank of the Seine which they called Lutetia Parisiorum (“Lutetia of the Parīsiī”). This later became Parisius, and eventually Paris [source].

The Gaulish name of the tribe, Parisioi, which was Latinized as Parīsiī, possibly comes from the Gaulish word *parios (cauldron), from Proto-Celtic *kʷaryos (cauldron) from the PIE *kʷer- (to do, make, build) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • coire [ˈkɛɾʲə] = large pot, cauldron, boiler in Irish
  • coire [kɔrʲə] = kettle, corrie, cauldron in Scottish Gaelic
  • coirrey = cauldron, boiler, maelstrom in Manx
  • pair [ˈpai̯r] = cauldron, large pot, boiler in Welsh
  • per [ˈpeːr] = cauldron in Breton

Words from the same Proto-Celtic roots, via Gaulish and Latin, include paiolo (copper cooking pot, cauldron) in Italian, perol (cauldron) in Catalan, perol (cauldron) in Spanish, and pairòl [pai̯ˈɾɔl] (kettle) in Occitan (Languedocien) [source].

Words from the same PIE root include Britain, Brittany and karma in English, cruth [kɾˠʊ(h)] (shape, appearance, state) in Irish, pryd [prɨːd] (sight, appearance, aspect) in Welsh, and काम [kɑːm] (work, task, job, function) in Hindi [source].

Britain and Brittany come from Middle English Britayne/Breteyn (Britain, Brittany), from Anglo-Norman Bretai(g)ne (Britain, Brittany), from Latin Brit(t)ānnia ([Great] Britain, [Roman province of] Britannia), from Βρεττανία (Brettaníā – Brittania, Great Britain), ultimately from Proto-Brythonic *Pritanī (Briton(s)), from Proto-Celtic *Kʷritanī/*Kʷritenī, from the PIE *kʷer- (to do, make, build) [source].

So the name Paris has Celtic roots. How about Lutetia? That comes from Gaulish *lutos (swamp), from Proto-Celtic *lutā (dirt, mud), from PIE *lew- (dirt, mud), which is also the root of lutulent (pertaining to mud, muddy) in English, and lodo (mud, muck, mire) in Spanish [source].

More about words for Cauldrons and Kettles and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Soft Bogs

In this episode we discover the soft and tender Celtic roots of the word bog.

Bogs of Connemara

A bog is an area of decayed vegetation which forms a wet spongy ground too soft for walking on, and comes from Middle English bog (swamp, morass), from Irish / Scottish Gaelic bog (soft, tender, marshy, boggy), from Old Irish boc (soft, gentle, tender), from Proto-Celtic *buggos (soft, tender), from PIE *bʰewgʰ- (to bend, curve) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • bog [bˠɔɡ / bˠʌɡ] (noun) = soft, tender, flabby, indulgent, lenient, mellow (voice), mild (weather), loose, lukewarm in Irish
  • bog [boɡ] = flabby, soft, limp, pulpy, moist, marshy, boggy, sloppy, foolish, damp, humid in Scottish Gaelic
  • bog = soft, easy, tender, flabby, pulpy, slack, limp, moist, soft-hearted, callow in Manx
  • bouk [buːk] = soft, cozy, heavy, stifling (weather) in Breton

English words from the same PIE root include badge, bagel, bay, (to) bow, bow (and arrow), buck and elbow [source].

Incidentally, the word bog is also slang for toilet / bathroom (originally latrine or outhouse) in the UK (especially in northern England), Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and a boglet is a small patch of boggy ground, or a kind of supernatural being like a bogle or goblin.

More about words for and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Tóg go bog é! (Take it easy! – Irish).

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com

Celtic Pathways – Barnacle Geese

In this episode we discover the Celtic roots of words like barnacle.

Barnacles

The Proto-Celtic word *barinākos means barnacle or limpet It comes from the Proto-Celtic *barinā (rocky ground), and *-ākos (involved with, belonging to) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • bairneach [ˈbˠɑːɾˠn̠ʲəx] = limpet in Irish
  • bàirneach [baːr̪ˠn̪ʲəx] = barnacle or limpet in Scottish Gaelic
  • ba(a)rnagh = barnacle in Manx
  • brennigen = limpet in Welsh
  • brenigen = limpet in Cornish
  • brennigenn = barnacle or limpet in Breton

Words from the same Proto-Celtic roots include bernache (barnacle) in French, barnacle in English, and barnacla (brent/brant goose) in Spanish [source].

The French word bernache was borrowed from Medieval Latin barnēca (limpet), from Gaulish *barinākā. The English word barnacle arrived via Middle English barnakille, and Old Northern French bernaque (barnacle), and the Spanish word barnacla was borrowed from English.

More about words for Barnacles & Limpets and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

The Fastest Way to Learn Japanese Guaranteed with JapanesePod101.com