View Full Version : How do YOU define the word "Celtic"?

09-12-2019, 12:01 AM
explain your definitions for it... both genetically/culturally/anthropologically/historically/ethnically/etc-etc, I'm just trying to learn more!...

09-12-2019, 12:48 AM
This topic is an interesting one & could trigger some very subjective responses that will vary among age groups
and where we may have come from.

When I was very young and living in England, we were pretty sure we knew who 'Celts' were, i.e. Cornish, Welsh,
Irish & Western + Highland Scottish. The Irish folk I knew back then were very single-minded about who a Celt
was. But today I can show quite a few Irish people they are of Norse origin. As time has passed and based on
very recent DNA projects it has become very clear that Celt and Irish and P312 don't always go hand-in-hand.

So a simplistic statement would be to say P312 are best associated with 'Celts'. But the DNA reality is that back in
Hallstatt & La Tene (or the other parts of Europe inhabited by P312 peoples) they didn't have P312 tattooed on
their foreheads so there almost certainly would be mix-ins from other DNA lines. Also the so called European
homelands of the Celts are mostly known from Roman times.

Were the Central European Bell Beakers (those dominantly P312) 'Celts' or did Celts emerge from them many
centuries later ?.

Another line of argument is to look to the parts of Europe & UK that spoke or still might speak Celtic Dialects.
That tends to narrow the regions down in more contemporary times.

Enjoy :)

09-12-2019, 02:24 AM
When I use the term "Celtic" I often define it prior to its use. I've noticed it has fallen a bit out of favor with those who discuss topics related to "Celticity" frequently. I personally think the term Celtic is most acceptable when referencing the Celtic languages. It really doesn't seem to fit when it comes to an ethnic group, because at this point it seems pretty darn likely that even if most of Europe did exist under some sort of Celtic culture that these would have been peoples who were relatively different genetically. If referring to the Irish and their genetic relatives (take Western Scotland for example) in a genetic sense, Gael is IMO a much better word - but then again that runs into the risk of being confused with a person who speaks a Gaelic language.

09-12-2019, 03:42 AM
To me, a Celtic is an Irish person.

09-12-2019, 04:48 AM
relating to the Celts or their languages, which constitute a branch of the Indo-European family and include Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Manx, Cornish, and several extinct pre-Roman languages such as Gaulish.
the Celtic language group.

09-12-2019, 06:59 AM
Totally agree with Timberwolf.
After years of trying to sort out a coherent and meaningful definition for myself.
What do you call someone else? What they say themselves that they would like to be called.
And this is what those who are of a pan-Celtic mind say.
Historically, language is the one thing that unites these peoples.
DNA may or may not, and the people were in Britain before the language/culture arrived there, so there may be some difference between the two things.

I have both Cornish (which some DNA ethnicity estimates as Spanish, English or Irish) and Scottish (usually estimated as Scottish/Irish).

09-12-2019, 06:02 PM
In my experience, Celtic, ( Keltic ) for me, means Welsh, Irish, & Scottish, and the Continental areas of the Gauls, ie pre-roman France, etc