The Gaels or Goidels are speakers of one of the Goidelic Celtic languages: Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. Goidelic speech originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to western and northern Scotland and the Isle of Man. The Goidelic languages are one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic languages, the other being Brythonic. The modern English term Gael derives ultimately from the Old Irish (Ancient Gaelic) word Goidel, which was spelled in various ways by Gaelic writers at different times. The modern Gaelic spellings are Gael (Irish) and Gaidheal (Scottish Gaelic). Early Greek and Roman authors called the Irish Ioyernoi and Iverni, respectively, both derived from the Proto-Irish ethnic name Iwerni ("people of Iweriu"). Later Greek and Latin variants of this name included Iernoi, Hierni, and Hiberni. Scoti or Scotti was another generic Latin name for the Irish that came into use by the 4th century.
Contributions by Karohatch, Epf, and An Siarach.