p-Celtic (pee-kel-tik) n. ancient langauge spoken throughtout Britain before Anglo-Saxon took over. It is distinguished from ‘q-Celtic’, which includes Scots Gaelic, which was never spoken in the Borders. There were probably 4 main dialects, Cornish, Welsh, Cumbric and Pictish, with Cumbric (also sometimes called Northumbrian) being the version spoken around Hawick and in the whole kingdom of Bernicia. Several local place-names have probable p-Celtic roots, including names containing ‘pen’ or ‘caer’. Many river names may also be from this era, if not even earlier. There is a possibility that the Hawick slogan ‘Teribus’ comes from a Cumbric phrase.

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