Celtic Words Translated Wrong

It is amazing how languages and words can get mixed up over the years, decades, and centuries. The Celtic (pronounced Keltic) languages, for example, are a complex and fascinating group of languages of which six are still spoken today. Below is an article that appeared in a 1904 newspaper. Strangely enough, newspapers were once a source of education for the general masses and many of the old time newspapers took it upon themselves to teach their readers new and old things about the world.

Ancient Phrases Corrupted

Ancient Picts in England were called by the Celtic word “pehta” or fighters. This was Latinized into Picti. So, too, Barbary of the ancient maps is a monument to the miscalling of the Berber tribe by the Greek word signifying “barbarian.”

Even the legend of the victory of Guy of Warwick over the dun cow is assailed by ruthless etymologists, who insist upon its derivation from his conquest over the “Denu gau,” or Danish settlement, at the champion’s gate.

The Celtic words “alt maen” are responsible for many “old man” crags upon sea coasts and among mountains. They mean, however, “high rock.”

[Source (1904, August 19). Ancient phrases corrupted. The Rice Belt Journal, p. 2.]