Pronouncing ‘Celt’ (Keltos) Correctly


The ancient Greek term for a non-Greek was ‘Keltos’ – referring to what they considered to be ‘uncivilised’ tribes living across Europe (including the UK). In these tribes women were considered equal to men and often fought alongside men in the frontline of battle. In these tribes, women often rose to positions of leadership, such was the respect in which they were viewed. In modern English, the Greek ‘Keltos’ is written as ‘Celtic’ but is usually pronounced ‘Keltic’ by native Britons, and is used to refer to the tribes that comprised ancient British ancestry prior to the Roman invasion. In Scotland, one o these tribes was referred to as the ‘Picts’ by the Romans. These ‘Picts’ were so good at fighting that they prevented most of what is now known as Scotland being over-run by the Romans. The British Celtic Queen Boudica succeeded in uniting the Celtic tribes of Britain against Roman oppression and this mass of people to many great victories over the Roman Legions – until her final defeat in 61 CE. Tacitus – the Roman historian – recorded that the British Celtic dead were piled in heaps across the battlefield (probably somewhere in the West Midlands) – and that the Romans stopped counting the bodies when the number of 80,000 was reached.

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