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From Middle Welsh carw, from Old Welsh caru, from Proto-Brythonic *karw, from Proto-Celtic *karwos, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱr̥h₂wós, from *ḱerh₂- (horn).



carw m (plural ceirw)

  1. deer, hart, stag
  2. (informal) reindeer
    Es i â'r plant i weld Siôn Corn a'i geirw.
    I took the kids to see Father Christmas and his reindeer.
  3. (figuratively) lord, nobleman, patron, etc.

Usage notes[edit]

Carw is used informally to refer to "reindeer" in the context of Christmas. The standard word for "reindeer" is carw Llychlyn.


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
carw garw ngharw charw
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “carw”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies