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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.



Generally agreed to be related to Latin creta (clay, chalk, soil), but the relationship is mysterious.[1][2][3] The Latin word itself could be related to cerno (I separate), Ancient Greek κρίνω (krínō, to divide, separate), from Proto-Indo-European *krey-.

Mallory & Adams reconstruct *tkʷreh₁yot-, adding Tocharian B tukri (clay);[4] Matasovic suggests *kʷreh₁ + Proto-Celtic *-yet-, adding that the Tocharian words could have had their own prefix. However, these all could have instead been borrowed from a non-Indo-European substrate.


*kʷrīyess ?

  1. clay


Masculine/feminine consonant stem
singular dual plural
nominative *kʷrīyets *kʷrīyete *kʷrīyetes
vocative *kʷrīyets *kʷrīyete *kʷrīyetes
accusative *kʷrīyetam *kʷrīyete *kʷrīyetams
genitive *kʷrīyetos *kʷrīyetou *kʷrīyetom
dative *kʷrīyetei *kʷrīyetobom *kʷrīyetobos
locative *kʷrīyeti
instrumental *kʷrīyete? *kʷrīyetobim *kʷrīyetobis


  • Brythonic: *prið
    • Old Breton: pri
    • Cornish: pri
    • Middle Welsh: pridd
  • Old Irish: cré


  1. ^ MacBain, Alexander, Mackay, Eneas (1911) “crè”, in An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language[1], Stirling, →ISBN
  2. ^ R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “pridd”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies
  3. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) “kʷrīyet”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, pages 182-83
  4. ^ Mallory, J. P. with Adams, D. Q. (2006) The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World (Oxford Linguistics), New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 121