from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Brittonic.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From the change of the Common Celtic labiovelar stops to labial stops in Brittonic.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word P-Celtic.


  • The presence of clearly Brittonic P-Celtic place name elements like Aber- in the areas traditionally considered Pictish is reasonable evidence that there was at least a component of P-Celtic in the Pictish language, though it was evidently distinct enough from Brittonic for Bede to call it a separate language.

    Pictish female names Carla 2010

  • Rosko - A P-Celtic component in the Pictish language, whatever it was, is consistent with P-Celtic place names such as Aber-.

    Pictish female names Carla 2010

  • Whether this was a component of Q-Celtic, a component of some other language I have wondered about links with Scandinavia; there were certainly strong links between Scotland and Scandinavia in the Viking age, and since geography doesn't change perhaps there were cultural links earlier, a distinctive dialect, an archaic form of P-Celtic, something else altogether or any combination thereof is pretty much open to speculation.

    Pictish female names Carla 2010

  • There's still a debate about whether the Pictish language was a form of P-Celtic (Brittonic), Q-Celtic (Gaelic), non-Celtic, or something else (I have seen a theory suggesting it was related to Finnish), so it's tricky to define what counts as Pictish.

    Brittonic names in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ genealogies, and vice versa Carla 2009

  • It sort of implies two language changes, one from some pre-IE language to P-Celtic, and then another from P-Celtic to Gaelic.

    Attacotti Carla 2009

  • Tenthmedieval - the pre-IE theory has always puzzled me with regard to the P-Celtic place names that turn up in the Pictish areas, e.g.

    Attacotti Carla 2009

  • These tribes all spoke, apparently, what modern linguists term the P-Celtic branch of the language, of which variants would afterwards survive in Wales and Cornwall – and Brittany as well.

    'The Invention of Scotland: History and Myth' 2008

  • Nevertheless, it seems clear enough from this evidence that the language spoken by the Picts belonged to the P-Celtic branch.

    'The Invention of Scotland: History and Myth' 2008

  • The characteristic difference between the groups is that Q-Celtic (to which Gaelic belongs) uses a K- or Qu- sound where P-Celtic (to which Brittonic belongs) uses a P-sound.

    Archive 2007-12-01 Carla 2007

  • Their language is not known, although it was probably a branch of P-Celtic, and nor is their name for themselves and their territory see main post.

    The Picts (or Cruithne, or Albans): What's in a name? Carla 2007


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.