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Nominalized adjective, perhaps from Proto-Brythonic *banujos,[1]masculine derived from Proto-Celtic *ban-, whence Welsh banon ‘maiden queen’, Old Breton ban-doiuis ‘goddess’, Old Irish ban-chú ‘female dog’;[2] akin to Cornish benow ‘feminine, female’.[3] Further related to Old Welsh ben ‘woman’, from Proto-Celtic *benā, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷḗn. Doublet of banw ‘female’.


benyw f (plural benywod)

  1. woman
  2. female



Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
benyw fenyw menyw unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


  1. ^ Schrijver, Peter C. H. (1995) Studies in British Celtic historical phonology (Leiden studies in Indo-European; 5), Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi, page 298
  2. ^ Ranko Matasović, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 61.
  3. ^ Dagmar S. Wodtko, Britta Irslinger & Carolin Schneider, eds., Nomina im Indogermanischen Lexikon (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008), 178, 180n7.