The Hebrew origin of a Common Ancient British Word, caer,
Mark Williams said:
My own home town, Leicester, is said to have derived it's name from
being a cty (caer) built by King Leir (the guy from Shakespeare with the
daughters and the Fool). I believe "Caer" and related words also has a
Hebrew/Aramaic/Phoemician connection. Not sure about other British
place name suffixes.
Numerous sites in Roman Britain had the suffix "Caer" in their names.
This is the subject of a Wikipedia article.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the Welsh language, caer means "fortress", "fort" or "citadel"/"castle".
Caer is the Welsh name for the city of Chester, situated in northwest England. It also forms, as a prefix, the Welsh equivalent of -caster, -cester and -chester in place names. The English word derives from Latin castrum "fortified post", more common in the plural castra meaning "military camp" and is the equivalent of castell (castle) in Welsh. The word caer itself derives from the Brythonic word *kagro-, as does the word cae (modern Welsh for "field", i.e. an enclosed piece of land).
Examples in Wales include:
Caerdydd (originally Caerdyf) - Fortress of (the river) Taf;
Caergybi - Fortress of (Saint) Cybi;
Caernarfon - Fortress in Arfon;
Caerffili - Fortress of Ffilli.
Caerwent - fortress of Gwent.
Examples of Welsh "Caer" names as exonyms for English cities:
Caerfuddai - Chichester;
Caergaint - Canterbury;
Caergrawnt - Cambridge;
Caerhirfryn - Lancaster;
Caerliwelydd - Carlisle;
Caerloyw - Gloucester;
Caerlwytgoed - Lichfield;
Caerl r - Leicester;
Caersallog - Salisbury;
Caerwrangon - Worcester;
Caerwynt - Winchester;
Caerwysg - Exeter
Southern Scotland contains many placenames with a "Caer" element, toponymic remnants of the Kingdoms of Yr Hen Ogledd.
Some examples are:
Carriden-fort of Eidyn. Falkirk
Caerlaverock-fort of Llywarch. Dumfriesshire
Cramond-Caer Almond, Fort on the river Almond. City of Edinburgh
Caerlanrig-fort in the glade/clearing. Roxburghshire
Carfrae-fort on the brae. East Lothian and Berwickshire
Cardrona-fort of Ronan. Peebleshire
Raimund Karl, a well known expert on the Celts, once conducted a long, intensive, and emotionally-charged debate with Yair Davidiy over Brit-Am/Hebrew Nations Beliefs concerning the Hebrew Ancestry of Celtic Peoples versus conventional academia. We think we would have won had there been impersonal academically trained arbitrators. Such however was not the case. Anyway, R. Karl also asserted that the prefix Caer came from the Latin castra meaning "military camp".
The areas where the name is found are those that were under Roman dominatiom in England and Wales or later, in Scotland, under Welsh rule. The Welsh in Scotland assumedly brought the name with them having borrowed it from the Romans.
We do not believe the name was really of Latin Roman origin.
First of all the Romans were all over the place, not only in England, Wales, and bordering Scotland. The Romans dominated most of Europe. Why is the term "caer" not found elsewhere?
Also there is a Hebrew term "Kiryah" meaning city or township, from the root "Kir" meaning wall. A Kiryah (Deuteronomy 2:36) was therefore a walled settlement. Hebron was also known as Kiryat Arba (Genesis 25:26), Kiryat Chutsot (Numbers 22:39), Kiryat Yaarim (Joshua 15:9), We have Kiryat Sefer (Joshua 15:9),Kiryat Baal (Joshua 18:14), the present day Kiryat Shemoneh, Jerusalem is referred to as Kiryah Emunah (Isaiah 1:21, 26) i.e. The Faithful City. The name Carthage is derived from the Phoenician Karet Chadata i.e. new city, and so on.
Caer, and Kir and Kiryah soujnd more likely to be interchangeable that Castra and Caer do.
A lot of names amongst the Celts of the British Isles sound similar to Hebrew ones. Many words are of Hebrew origin or at least very similar to Hebrew in sound and meaning. It is widely agreed that the linguistic substratum is of Hamito-Semitic origin the same as Hebrew.
See also the discussions and very extensive biography in,
Karl Jongeling, "Comparing Welsh & Hebrew" (Netherlands, 2000).