This Proto-Slavic entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



Of uncertain origin. Sparsely attested, mainly in toponyms and derived terms.

If the color association is derived from the name of the jay, jackdow bird (and not vice versa), it is possible that the root is of onomatopoeic nature, related to Proto-Slavic *gavati (to bark), Proto-Slavic *gajati (ro crook), Proto-Slavic *gakati (to cow). Compare regional Proto-Slavic *gaga (jay).



  1. dark, murky, swarty
  2. black (for animals, places)
    Synonym: *vornъ


Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Colors in Proto-Slavic · *květi (layout · text)
(of animals) *bronъ
     *sivъ, *śěrъ, *śědъ      *čьrnъ, *smaglъ/*smǫglъ
(of animals) *vornъ, *galъ
             *čьrvenъ, *ryďь, *ruměnъ; *bagrъ              *rudъ, *granivъ; *smědъ,
(of animals) *gnědъ
(of animals) *solvъ; *polvъ
             *zelenъ              *zelenъ, *grěnъ             
                          *polvъ              *siňь; *modrъ


  • East Slavic:
    • Ukrainian: галь (halʹ, herd of jays) (dialectal)
  • South Slavic:
  • West Slavic:
    • Czech: gał (pitch) (dialectal)

Further readingEdit

  • Vasmer, Max (1964–1973) , “галка”, in Etimologičeskij slovarʹ russkovo jazyka [Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language] (in Russian), translated from German and supplemented by Oleg Trubačóv, Moscow: Progress
  • Trubačóv, Oleg, editor (1979) , “*galъ II”, in Etimologičeskij slovarʹ slavjanskix jazykov [Etymological dictionary of Slavic languages] (in Russian), volume 06, Moscow: Nauka, page 96
  • Georgiev Vl. I., editor (1971) , “гал”, in Български етимологичен речник [Bulgarian Etymological Dictionary] (in Bulgarian), volume 1, Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, page 225
  • Maya Vlahova-Angelova (2014) , “Цветовете в Българската топонимия”, in „Известия“, книга XXVII[1], Institute of Bulgarian Language at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, pages 130-159