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Genealogy Places of Interest

A SHORT WELSH DICTIONARY

The Welsh language is very descriptive. A lot of names and place-names are made up of a description of the person or place, examples being ‘Pengwern – head of the swamp’ or ‘Betswy Coed – chapel in the trees’. The Welsh language does not use the letters J, K, Q, V, or Z but makes up for this by having sounds comprising of combined letters, such as ll, sounding as lth, dd sounding as th. They have additional vowels such as w, pronounced oo, y pronounced er. The letter u is pronounced i as in kit but with a sort of swing to it. There is often not a single word in English as a true meaning of a Welsh word but the following meanings may be useful :-   

Welsh English Welsh English
abatyabbeyabermouth (of river)
alltwooded slopearon
bachnook, end, smallbanpeak, crest
bangormonastery landbeddgrave
betwschapel of easeblaenhead, upland
braichridgebroregion, vale, home
brynhill, bankbwlchpass, gap
cabancabin, hutcaderseat, stronghold
caerfort, campcanolmiddle
carncairn, rockcarregstone, rock
cefnridgecelligrove, copse
ceunantravinecilcorner, retreat
civescitizenclaclan
classismonasteryclawdddyke
clunmeadow, moorcochred
corsbogcraigcrag
cwmvalley, corriecwrtcourt
CymruWalesdanunder, below
ddagoodderwoak
dinashill, fort, strongholddiserthhermitage
drwgpass, gapdublack
dyffrynvalleyefailsmithy
eithingorseerwacre
esgobbishopffinboundary
ffosditch, trenchffridsheep walk
ffynnonspring, wellgalltslope, wood
garwroughglanriver bank
glynglen, valleygoetrewoodland
gwelybedfamily homegwernswamp
gwynwhite, fairgwyrddgreen
haulsunhelygenwillow
hendrewinter dwellinghoel, hewlroad
isbelowisaflower
llainthin strip of landllanplace of church
llawrflat valley bottomllechslab, slate
lletysmall housellethrslope
lluesthut, cottagellwydgrey
llwch, llynlakellyscourt, palace
maenormanor, estatemaesplain, open field
mawrbig, greatmelinmill
merimeremerthyrburial place
moelbare hillmorfamarch, seashore
mynore, minemynachlogmonastery
nannaubrooksnantstream, vale
odynkilnonnenash tree
panthollow, valleyparcpark
penrhynpromatorypentrevillage, hamlet
pontbridgeporthgateway, harbour
pystyllwaterfallrhiwhillock
rhydfordsainsaint
sirshiresychdry
talendtarrenrocky height
tirland, territorytomenmound
traethstrand, shoretrawscross, district
trithreetroedfoot
trumridgetrwynpoint, cape
ty (tai)house (houses)tyddynsmall farm
ty'n llan vicarage, rectoryuchafupper
uwch above, oververchdaughter of
y, yr, rthehenold
ynysislandhirlong
ystumriver bend isallow
afonriverychox
ardeldistrictystadestate
bancbankllanerchglade
bedwenbirchllechweddhillside (rocky)
bodabode, dwellinglludda Welsh god
bronslope, hillbreastllwyngrove
bychansmallmaenstone
caefield, enclosuremammother
capelchapelmelynyellow
castellcastlemignbog
cemaisriver bendmurwall
cilfachcove, creekmynyddmountain
clasmother churchnosnight
clogwyncliff, sheerpandaifulling mill
coedtrees, woodpenhead, end
crwthWelsh violinplashall, mansion
cymerconfluence (river)pwllpool, pit
dautworhosmoorland
diffwysprecipicesarncauseway
dolmeadowtafarntavern
drwwatertegfair
eglwyschurchtongrassland
esgairlong ridgetre (tref)hamlet, township
fforddroadtrosever
ffrwdstream, torrenttwynhillock
garthhill, enclosuretynsmall
glasblue to greenuchelhigh
gwaunmountain moorWalliciWelshman
gwladregion (county)ynin
hafodsummer dwellingystradvalley floor
 

Many Welsh names and their English pronunciations are similar and can be easily identified, eg Huw and Hugh. However many are different and some are listed below. The name Ial meaning Yale was a Lordship in N.E. Wales and a University Founder.
 

Welsh English Welsh English
Adda Adam Andreas Andrew
Arnallt Arnold Bened Bennet
Beti Betty Blaenau Blayney
Cai Kay Coch Gough, Gooch
Dafydd, Dewi, Dai David Davies son of David
Edwart Edward Efa Eve
Elen Helen Fychan Vaughan
Gerallt Gerald Gruffydd Griffiths
Gutyn Gittins Gwilym William
Harri Henry, Harris Hopcyn Hopkins
Hywel Howell, Powell Iago James
Ieuan, Ifan, Iwan Evan Ioan, Sion John, Jones
Lowri Laura Lisbeth, Leisa Elizabeth
Llwyd Lloyd Luc, Lug Luke
Madog Maddox Mair, Mari Mary
Maredudd Meredith Marged, Mererid Margaret
Mihangel Michael Owain Owen, Bowen
Pawl Paul Philio Philip
Prys Price Pyrs Pierce
Rhisiart Richard Rhosier Roger
Seincyn Jenkin Siarl Charles
Steffan Stephen Watcyn Watkins
Williams son of Willi Winffre Humphrey
Wynne (from Gwyn) White    


Many place names in Welsh can be accurately guessed because of their similarity to English when said with an English pronunciation, but for Genealogists and interested readers some of the more unusual ones follow.
 

Welsh English Welsh English
Aberdaugleddau,-yf Milford Haven Abergwaun Fishguard
Aberhonddu Brecon Abertawe Swansea
Aberteifi Cardigan(shire) Afon Menai Menai Straits
Afrig Africa Amerig America
Amwythig Shrewsbury Awstralia Australia
Caerfaddon Bath Caerfyrddin Carmarthen(shire)
Caer-wynt Winchester Cas-gwent Chepstow
Croesoswallt Oswestry Cymru Wales
Dindyrn Tintern Dyfnaint Devon
Eryri Snowdonia Gwlad-yr-haf Somerset
Hafren Severn Iwerddon Ireland
Llanelwy St Asaph Llanllieni Leominster
Lloegr England Manaw Isle of Man
Manceinion Manchester Mon Anglesey
Penbedw Birkenhead Tafwys Thames
Y Mor Canolder Mediterranian Ynys Gybi Holy Isle
Yr Alban, Sgotland Scotland Yr Wyddfa Snowden
Ystrad-fflur Strata Florida Y Trallwng Welshpool


Then we come to days and dates. In Welsh a written number is the same as for the majority of countries in the Western Block, but as with these countries the pronunciation is different. Months have abbreviations as do the English but there is quite a difference when it comes to weekdays, as in Welsh the lower case word for day (dydd) is followed by the day's name. In Welsh a word can often change when it is preceded or followed by a vowel or female meaning, so bear with me on the following :-

Welsh Months (Mis) . .
Ionawr (Ion) January (Jan)
Chwefror (Chwe) February (Feb)
Mawrth (Maw) March (Mar)
Ebrill (Ebr) April  
Mai . May  
Mehefin (Meh) June  
Gorffenaf (Gor) July  
Awst . August (Aug)
Medi . September (Sept)
Hydref (Hyd) October (Oct)
Tachwedd (Tach) November (Nov)
Rhagfyr (Rhag) December (Dec)
       
Numbers Nifers Welsh Days (dydd)
one un dydd Llun Monday
two dau, dwy dydd Mawrth Tuesday
three tri dydd Mercher Wednesday
four pedwar dydd Iau Thursday
five pump, pum dydd Gwener Friday
six chwech, chwe dydd Sadwrn Saturday
seven saith dydd Sul Sunday
eight wyth    
nine naw    
ten deg, deng    
eleven un ar ddeg    
twelve deuddeg    
thirteen tri ar ddeg, tair ar ddeg    
fourteen pedwar ar ddeg    
Fifteen pymtheg, un deg pump    
sixteen un deg chwech    
seventeen un deg saith    
eighteen deunaw, un deg wyth    
nineteen un deg naw    
twenty ugain, dua ddeg