[ANSTHRLD] arms - your thoughts

Sara L Uckelman liana at ellipsis.cx
Wed Aug 20 12:21:54 PDT 2008

Quoth Tim McDaniel:
> (BTW, I was surprised to learn that "Celt" is basically a
> way-post-period concept.)

Only certain usages are.  According to the OED s.v. Celt, 
the term being used to apply "to the ancient peoples of Western 
Europe, called by the Greek <Keltoi>, <Keltai>, and by the 
Romans <Celtae>", dates to 1607:

1607 TOPSELL Four-f. Beasts 251 "The Indians were wont to 
use no bridles, like the Græcians and Celts."
The use of the term as "a general name applied in modern times 
to peoples speaking languages akin to those of the ancient Galli, 
including the Bretons in France, the Cornish, Welsh, Irish, 
Manx, and Gaelic of the British Isles," the OED does say
that this "modern use began in French, and in reference to the 
language and people of Brittany, as the presumed representatives 
of the ancient Gauls: with the recognition of linguistic 
affinities it was extended to the Cornish and Welsh, and so to 
the Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic. CELTIC has thus become a 
name for one of the great branches of the Aryan family of languages 
(see CELTIC); and the name Celt has come to be applied to any 
one who speaks (or is descended from those who spoke) any Celtic 


vita sine literis mors est

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