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This Proto-Celtic entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



Probably from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ēsh₂r̥no- (bloody, red), from *h₁ésh₂r̥ (blood),[1] but the long ē (which regularly became ī in Proto-Celtic) is unexplained. A connection with *ish₂ros (supernatural, holy) (compare Ancient Greek ἱερός (hierós, supernatural, holy), Sanskrit इषिर (iṣira, refreshing)) is also possible, though here too the long ī (which is confirmed by the Proto-Germanic loanword *īsarną) is unexplained.[2]


*īsarnom n

  1. iron


Neuter o-stem
singular dual plural
nominative *īsarnom *īsarnou *īsarnā
vocative *īsarnom *īsarnou *īsarnā
accusative *īsarnom *īsarnou *īsarnā
genitive *īsarnī *īsarnous *īsarnom
dative *īsarnūi *īsarnobom *īsarnobos
locative *īsarnei *? *?
instrumental *īsarnū *īsarnobim *īsarnūis


  • Proto-Brythonic: *hijarn (< *hiarno- < *iharno- by metathesis)[3]
  • Old Irish: íarn
  • Gaulish: Isarnus (proper name)
  • ? Albanian: Erjon
  • Proto-Germanic: *īsarną (see there for further descendants)


  1. ^ Warren Cowgill, Indogermanische Grammatik, 1, 1. Halbband, Heidelberg: Winter, 1987, page 68
  2. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 172
  3. ^ Schrijver, Peter C. H. (1995) Studies in British Celtic historical phonology (Leiden studies in Indo-European; 5), Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi, page 383