Focal an Lae #65
The Word of the Day in Irish

Word: geal (GYAL, like “gal” but with a y-glide)

Meaning: geal = bright, clear, white; to clear, to brighten


History: Old Irish “gel” comes from Common Celtic *gelo-, which comes from the Indo-European root *ghel- (to shine), which has given rise to a variety of colour names in the daughter languages. Compare Welsh “gell” (auburn, yellow), Breton “gell” (red brown) and English “yellow”. The word for “moon” in Irish, “gealach”, derives from “geal”, and other related words are “glan” (clean), “glé” (bright) and “gloine” (glass). Further cognates in English include “gold”, “gleam” and “glow”.

Scottish Gaelic: geal

2008-06-19 CPD