The English Language

Borrowed Words From
Gaelic

48 Words Listed


Gaelic Language Notes

Gaelic is an Indo-European language spoken in Scotland (UK) and Ireland.

Words from this language are mainly literary ("bard"), Celtic myths ("banshee") and geological ("crag"). Most golfing terms ("golf", "caddy") are also present as the game originated in Scotland.


WordMeaningNotes
banshee woman of the fairy mound Figure from Irish myth.
bard poet Shakespere is often called 'the bard of Stratford'.
blarney   One of many literary terms from Gaelic.
bog soft One of many geographical terms from Gaelic.
bother trouble Used in London slang.
brat   Badly behaved child.
brisk    
brogue   Rough shoe.
caddy   One of many sporting terms in Gaelic.
cairn   Memorial made of stones.
clan children  
claymore great sword  
crag    
dour    
dune heap  
gab   As in 'the gift of the gab' (a good talker).
galore plenty  
glamour    
glen valley  
gob   Used in London slang for 'mouth' or 'spit'.
golf    
hooligan    
keen    
Kent white English county.
lashings abundance  
leprechaun   Figure from Irish myth.
loch   Scottish lake as in 'Loch Ness'.
moniker name Used in UK slang.
pet tame animal, favoured Used as a term of endearment in the UK.
phoney    
pillion cushion A seat on a motorbike behind the driver.
pony    
puck   Ice hockey term.
shamrock    
shanty old house As in 'shanty town'.
slob slovenly  
slogan    
smashing that is good Used extensively in the UK.
smidgen    
smithereens little bits  
sporran purse Worn in front of a kilt in Scotland (UK).
spunk   Has different meanings in UK and USA.
Strontium   A metallic chemical element.
swap    
Tory outlaw Used as a nickname for the Conservative (political) Party in the UK.
trousers   Used in the UK - in the USA 'trousers' are called 'pants'.
twig understand Used in the UK.
whisky water  

[Borrowed Words (French)] [Borrowed Words (Gaulish)]

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