More about cistvaen
Cistvaen, “a prehistoric sepulchral tomb or casket,” comes from Welsh cist faen, “stone box, stone chest.” Cist comes via Latin cista, “box, chest,” from Ancient Greek kistē. Faen is a mutated form of maen, “stone,” a Cornish relative of which is also part of the Word of the Day dolmen. In Welsh, as in many Celtic languages, the first consonant of a noun or adjective mutates in a variety of contexts, including in some compound words; this is why the m in maen (pronounced like “main” or “mine”) becomes the “softer” f in faen (pronounced like “vain” or “vine”). Cistvaen was first recorded in English in the first decade of the 19th century.
EXAMPLE OF CISTVAEN USED IN A SENTENCE
While dolmens are aboveground homes for the prehistoric dead, the Celts once used shallow cistvaens as burial pits.