>Last night a learned friend informed me that the word "Celt" is a
>made up sometime in the 18th century.
That is incorrect. Your friend is perhaps referring to the fact that the
Welsh, Irish, Manx, Bretons, Scots, & Cornish only began to be called
Celts/Celtic in the 18th century, when it was recognized that their
languages were related to that of the Celtae of ancient Gaul.
>What was the term(s) used prior to that
Latin Celtae, Greek Keltoi were both derived from a native Gaulish ethnic
name (nom. sg. m/f *Celtos/Celta, nom. pl. m/f Celti [earlier
*Celtoi]/*Celtas). The etymology of the name is unclear, as there are
several Proto Indo European *kel- roots which might have produced it.
- Chris Gwinn
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