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The list of occupations below was donated  initially (from an unknown original source) but significantly expanded with excerpts from the following source books which are readily acknowledged;

1.Davies, Byron. The Tinplaters . Dyfed FHS Journal 6/5 1998

2.Hughes, P.G . Wales and the Drovers. 1944.

3.Davies, John Henry . The History of Pontardawe and District 1967

And some other sites to try .


List of Occupations

  • Accomptant Accountant
  • Almoner Giver of charity to the needy
  • Amanuensis Secretary or stenographer
  • Annealing;
    • Black annealing was part of the tinplate process where sheets were piled onto stands , covered by steel boxes or pots, sealed by sand to exclude air and heated in an annealing furnace to make them softer and more ductile. White annealing was similar but for shorter periods at lower temperatures.
  • Annuitant; not an occupation as such but often seen on census returns. The term might refer to someone in receipt of an annual allowance, or someone with investment producing annual income.
  • Artificer A soldier mechanic who does repairs
  • Assorters; part of the tinplate process, they and packers packed 112 sheets to a box for labelling and dispatch.
  • Bailie Bailiff
  • Bailiff: Someone employed by a Court to seize the property of debtors
  • Baller ; iron industry worker
    • "When the metal begins to melt it is the business of the puddler to watch it from time to time until it is ready for what is technically called BALLING, i.e. dividing the metals into separate balls or quantities or puddle-rolls; which having been done, they are handed over to the shingler, who has the direction of a large and heavy hammer worked by steam or water power, and the rough hot metal is, by repeated blows brought to a more compact form for the rolling mill." From the Employment Commission reports 1842
  • Bar Cutter; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Baxter Baker
  • Behinder;
    • a member of the Hot Mill crew in a Tin Plate Works, he caught the sheets behind the doublers and passed them back to the rollerman over the top roll, there would be several passes. This job may include taking the sheets back to the furnaces for reheating.
  • Blocklayers; from "A Dictionary of Occupational Terms"
    • blocklayer (cinder tip, blast furnace): locks wheels of cinder wagons before they are tipped, at cinder tip of blast furnace; sometimes done by shunter
    • blocklayer (colliery): fixes small blocks or wooden keys for tightening rails on tramways in coal mine, using a hammer
    • blocklayer (platelayer): lays surface tramways, and sometimes roadways, in mines and quarries
    • blocklayer (wood): one of a gang who lay wood blocks to form roadway surface, chopping blocks with small hand choppers to finish-off gutter etc., and pouring tar over blocks, after laying, to allow percolation through cracks
  • Bluestocking Female writer
  • Boniface Keeper of an inn
  • Boxer ; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Branding Boy ; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Branning Boys; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Brazier One who works with brass
  • Brewster Beer manufacturer
  • Brightsmith Metal Worker
  • Bundlers; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Burgonmaster Mayor
  • Caulker
    • One who filled up cracks (in ships or windows or seems to make them watertight by using tar or oakum-hemp fiber produced by taking old ropes apart
  • Chaisemaker Carriage maker
  • Chandler Dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles; retailer of groceries
  • Chiffonnier Wig maker
  • Cinder Filler ; iron industry worker
  • Clark Clerk
  • Clerk Clergyman, cleric
  • Clicker
    • The servant of a salesman who stood at the door to invite customers; one who received the matter in the galley from the compositors and arranged it in due form ready for printing; one who makes eyelet holes in boots using a machine which clicked.
  • Coast waiter
    • officer in Customs service charging coastside duties
  • Cohen Priest
  • Collector
    • Customs service controller of a collection (an administrative area)
  • Cold Rolling ;
    • part of the tinplate process where the sheets were introduced singly into three sets of rolls, rough, intermediate and finishing, this made them even and produced a polished surface.
  • Collier Coal miner, usually cutting coal at face
  • Colporteur Peddler of books
  • Cooper One who makes or repairs vessels made of staves and hoops, such as casks, barrels, tubs, etc.
  • Copperas worker; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Cordwainer Shoemaker, originally any leather worker using leather from Cordova/Cordoba in Spain
  • Corvister ; involved in leather tanning/curing/processing /manufacturing trades
  • Costermonger Peddler of fruits and vegetables
  • Counter; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Crocker Potter
  • Crowner Coroner
  • Currier One who dresses the coat of a horse with a currycomb; one who tanned leather by incorporating oil or grease
  • Deputy: a management official in a coal mine
  • Dipper; in Tin Plate Works, he dipped the thin steel sheets into the moulten tin to coat them.
  • Docker Stevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
  • Doubler; a member of the Hot Mill crew in a Tin Plate Works, he doubled the sheets holding them with large tongs as they cam off the rollers and placed them in the squeezer.
  • Dowser One who finds water using a rod or witching stick
  • Draper A dealer in dry goods
  • Drayman One who drives a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads
  • Dresser 1 A surgeon's assistant in a hospital
  • Dresser 2 : worked in slate quarry, cut slates to size
  • Drover One who drives cattle, sheep, etc. to market; a dealer in cattle
  • Duffer Peddler
  • Dusters ; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Dyers ;  see the  Society of dyers and colourists     https://sdc.org.uk/
  • Engineman: worked the various steam engines used in coal mines
  • Examining officer
    • Customs service officer who examined imported goods ( known as Landing waiter until 1861)
  • Factor Agent,
    • commission merchant; one who acts or transacts business for another; Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate
  • Farrier A blacksmith, one who shoes horses
  • Faulkner Falconer
  • Fell monger One who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for leather making
  • Felon: someone who commits a serious crime such as murder
  • Filler ; iron industry worker
  • Finer ; employed in Iron Works
  • Finerman ; worked in the part of an ironworks or tinworks called a Finery. The job of the Finery was to reduce the carbon content of the pig iron. The pig iron had been produced using a coke smelting furnace. This produced pig iron with too high a carbon content and this made it brittle - not a problem when you were going to make cast iron which required no further working, but for the production of tinplate iron that was less brittle was required.The furnace in the finery was fired by charcoal, and this, along with the rest of the process which included heating, hammering and reheating, reduced the carbon content of the iron sufficiently to make it suitable for the production of tinplate.
  • Fireman: a management official who carried out safety inspections in coal mines
  • Fitter; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Fletcher One who made bows and arrows
  • Founder ; iron industry worker
  • Fuller
    • One who fulls cloth; one who shrinks and thickens woollen cloth by moistening, heating, and pressing; one who cleans and finishes cloth.
    • Fulling ; when just woven, woollen cloth tends to be loose and open. Fulling is a process of compacting the fibres to make the cloth more coherent and durable. It works on the fact that wool has tiny scales all along the fibres. When the woven wool is 'worked' by being beaten, the fibres 'ratchet' together and the cloth becomes more compact and solid. If continued for a long time, the end result is felt - eg. for billiard tables or hats. Woven cloth off the loom, say 4'-5' wide, is washed and, while still wet, is passed through an 'eye' at the top of the fulling machine. It is then sewn into a loop that may be 30' long. Rollers pull the cloth through the eye and it is 'thumped' by heavy wooden hammers 'tripped' by a rotating drum with pegs on it. The cloth is kept moist and soapy, and is repeatedly passes round this circuit, becoming more compact (and narrower in width) as it does so. The process, which may take as much as 26 hours, is carefully monitored until the desired degree of compaction is obtained. The cloth is then washed and cleaned with fuller's earth (diatomaceous earth) and finally dried while being 'tentered' or stretched back to its original width on a big frame with hooks all round set out on big frames in a field - ie. "it's on tenterhooks". In the early days, the thumping was achieved by men trampling the cloth in a half-barrel. Stale urine was used as the wetting agent, the process was not good for the feet........! With the advent of water power, fulling mills were soon developed, and productivity and quality rose sharply. There is a restored fulling mill and exhibition near Stroud.[Contributed by Howard Fuller].
  • Furnaceman; a member of the Hot Mill crew in a Tin Plate Works, he heated the sheets.
  • Gaoler A keeper of the goal, a jailer
  • Girdler; involved in leather tanning/curing/processing /manufacturing trades
  • Glazier Window glassman
  • Glover ; involved in leather tanning/curing/processing /manufacturing trades
  • Grease Boys; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Gyrrwr ; a subordinate to a cattle/sheep drover.
  • Hacker Maker of hoes
  • Hammerman; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Hatcheler One who combed out or carded flax
  • Haulier; employed in coal mine, dragged a dram
  • Haymonger Dealer in hay
  • Hayward Keeper of fences
  • Heater : employed in Iron Works
  • Hewer: another name for a collier in a coal mine
  • Higgler Itinerant peddler
  • Hillier Roof tiler
  • Hind A farm laborer
  • Hitcher: a man in charge of the cage at the pit-bottom
  • Hobbler  On the Glamorgan canal, independent owner boatmen were known as hobblers
    • In parts of Glamorgan a 'hobble'  (=hobbler)is an odd job done for cash payment by someone either while they are in full-time employment for another employer, or in receipt of benefit.
  • Holster A groom who took care of horses, often at an inn
  • Hooker Reaper
  • Hookers; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Hooper One who made hoops for casks and barrels
  • Huckster Sells small wares
  • Husbandman A farmer who cultivated the land
  • Iron moulder  
    • A foundry worker who produced the sand moulds from wooden patterns into which the moulten iron was poured to produce a cast metal/iron object.
  • Jagger Fish peddler
  • Jerquer
    • Clerk in a Customs House who checked reports of ships arriving against coastside cargo account (a Check officer from 1862)
  • Journeyman
    • One who had served his apprenticeship and mastered his craft, not bound to serve a master, but hired by the day
  • Joyner / Joiner A skilled carpenter
  • Keeler Bargeman
  • Kempster Wool comber
  • Ladle Liner
    • In ore dressing, smelting, and refining, a person who repairs and relines pouring ladles used to transport molten metals, such as iron, steel, and copper. Also called ladle cleaner; ladle dauber; ladle houseman; ladle mender; ladle patcher; ladle repairman
  • Landguard
    • Group of Customs men stationed along a coast to prevent landing of smuggled goods
  • Landing waiter (see Examining officer)
  • Lardner Keeper of the cupboard
  • Lath render
    • 1; Possibly should be "renderer" , a plasterer who put the plaster on walls and ceilings after the laths (thin strips of wood) had been nailed to the timber framework. This was the traditional way of making ceilings until the invention of plaster board. Walls could also be constructed in the manner .
    • 2 ; people who worked in timber yards and were also sawyers, some of them hurdlemakers, perhaps a more accurate definition would be a person who split withies or pieces of timber to make laths. Looks like a confused distinction between render with renderer, maybe a geographical difference ?
  • Lavender Washer woman
  • Lederer Leather maker
  • Leech Physician
  • Lengthman ;
    • a lengthman was an employee of the  Great Western Railway whose duty it was to walk his specified length of track daily (or as required) carrying out minor repairs, checking for defects that needed reporting to higher levels for major work to be carried out. Normally a senior man's job and a very responsible one.
  • List Boys ; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Lister ; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Locker
    • Customs officer who guarded a bonded warehouse
  • Longshoreman Stevedore
  • Lormer Maker of horse gear
  • Malender Farmer
  • Maltster Brewer
  • Manciple A steward
  • Marine
    • is essentially a soldier serving on a ship [Eve McLaughlin]
  • Mariner
    • is a sailor, usually merchant navy but loosely any sailor including one in the Royal Navy [Eve McLaughlin]
  • Mason Bricklayer
  • Master Weaver: someone who employs a number of weavers to supply him with woven cloth
  • Militia man: someone who belongs to a group who were on stand by to take up arms to support a government
  • Millwright
    • The millwright of the 17th and 18th Centuries was quite different from the millwright of today. He was a master craftsman who completely designed and constructed mills. Sir William Fairbairn, a millwright of the late 19th Century, wrote in his Treatise on Mills and Millwork, "...the millwright of the late centuries was an itinerant engineer and mechanic of high reputation. He could handle the axe, the hammer, and the plane with equal skill and precision...he could set out and cut in the furrows of a millstone with an accuracy equal of superior to that of the miller himself." In 1919, James F. Hobart wrote in his book, Millwrighting, "The ancient type of millwright has passed away. He has gone with the old time carpenter and obsolete shoemaker - the former with 500 pounds of molding planes and woodworking tools, the latter with nothing but pegging and sewing awls, hammer, and knife.
  • Mintmaster One who issued local currency
  • Monger Seller of goods (ale, fish)
  • Muleskinner Teamster
  • Navigator or navvie : labourer employed to dig out a canal bed.
  • Navvie[Railway]: a labourer who built railway track, embankments, tunnels etc
  • Neatherder Herds cows
  • Openers ;
    • a member of the Hot Mill crew in a Tin Plate Works, invariably women who seprated sheeets that became stuck together
  • Ordinary Keeper Innkeeper with fixed prices
  • Ostler: looked after the horses underground in a coal mine
  • Outdoor officer
    • Basic grade of Customs officer ( Assistant Examining Officer from 1891)
  • Overman: Management official responsible for overseeing the work of miners
  • Packers;
    • part of the tinplate process, they and assorters packed 112 sheets to a box for labelling and dispatch.
  • Patch workers
    • Were mployed to dig for surface minerals or coal on the side of  mountains -  leaving marks on the sides of the mountains that at a distance looked like patches
  • Pattern Maker
    • A maker of a clog shod with an iron ring. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
  • Peregrinator Itinerant wanderer
  • Peruker A wig maker
  • Pettifogger A shyster lawyer
  • Pickling;
    • black pickling is part of the tinplate processs where sheets were "pickled" by being dipped in dilute sulphuric acid on a rack. Then cleaned by dipping in water. White pickling used acid which was more dilute with a shorter immersion.
  • Pigman Crockery dealer
  • Plumber
    • One who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows.
  • Pointmaker; involved in leather tanning/curing/processing /manufacturing trades
  • Polishing;
    • part of the tinplate process where bran and lambswool were used to burnish the steel.
  • Porter Door keeper
  • Porthmon; a drover of cattle/sheep
  • Pouchmakers; involved in leather tanning/curing/processing /manufacturing trades
  • Preventive officer
    • Officer of the waterguard (Customs service)
  • Puddler ;
    • iron industry worker. A puddler is one who or that which puddles: specifically, a person who puddles clay or iron. Puddling in this case is the process of making wrought iron from pig iron by heating and stirring it in the presence of oxidizing agents, and a puddler is the person who does this process.See also baller.
  • Pull-up boy; employed in Iron Works, raised the furnace door by tugging at a chain.
  • Quarrier Quarry worker
  • Rail Stran'er ; iron industry worker
  • Reckoner; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Refiners; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing  and iron industries
  • A Relieving Officer
    • Worked for the Poor Law Union/Workhouse and organised parish relief. "Evaluate the cases of all  persons applying for medical or poor relief; to authorize emergency relief or entry to the workhouse." Also could have acted as a Registrar of Births  Marriages and Deaths
  • Riding officers
    •  Customs officers on horseback set up round the coast in 1688 to prevent smuggling
  • Rigger Hoist tackle worker
  • Ripper Seller of fish
  • Ripper II: miners who 'ripped' away the roof and floor of a seam in a mine to allow sufficient height to bring horses up to the coal face
  • Riser ; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Roadman; coal mine worker who maintained the condition of the main underground  roadways
  • Rockman : worked in slate quarry, handled the blocks of slate.
  • Roller ; iron industry worker
  • Rollerman;
    • a member of the Hot Mill crew in a Tin Plate Works, he inserted the red hot sheets into the rolls, he was the team captain.
  • Roper Maker of rope or nets
  • Rougher - see ruffer
  • Rubbers; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Ruffer -  a variation of  the term 'Rougher', an iron worker who was engaged in the early stages of roughing out or rolling iron sheets down to the required thickness. It can also mean someone who roughed out things in the early stages of production.
  • Saddler One who makes, repairs or sells saddles or other furnishings for horses
  • Sawbones Physician
  • Sawyer One who saws; carpenter
  • Schumacker Shoemaker
  • Scourers; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Scribler A minor or worthless author
  • Scrivener Professional or public copyist or writer; notary public
  • Scrutiner Election judge
  • Shearer ;
    • a member of the Hot Mill crew in a Tin Plate Works, he trimmed the sheets to the required size.
  • Shingler : employed in Iron Works
  • Shrieve Sheriff
  • Slater Roofer
  • Slopseller Seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop
  • Snobscat / Snob One who repaired shoes
  • Sorter Tailor
  • Special constable: man chose by magistrates to help them keep law and order
  • Spinster A woman who spins or an unmarried woman
  • Splitter : worked in slate quarry, split slates into narrow sheets
  • Spurrer Maker of spurs
  • Squire Country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace
  • Stonedresser
    • an itinerant worker who re-cut and sharpened millstones
  • Striker; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Stuff gown Junior barrister
  • Stuff gownsman Junior barrister
  • Supercargo
    • Officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship.
  • Tanner One who tans (cures) animal hides into leather
  • Tapley One who puts the tap in an ale cask
  • Tasker Reaper
  • Teamster One who drives a team for hauling
  • Thatcher Roofer
  • Tide surveyor
    • Preventive officer in charge of boarding crew (Customs service)
  • Tide waiter
    • According to the book ' The Letter-Book of John Byrd , customs collector of South East Wales 1648-80' edited by S.K. Roberts, a waiter ( wayter) or tide-waiter was a customs officer who boarded ships to examine cargoes. A surveyor was a customs officer who identified ships and cargoes.
  • Tidesman
    • A Tide waiter (see above)
  • Tinker An itinerant tin pot and pan seller and repairman
  • Tinning;
    • part of the tinplate process where sheets were passed through a layer of flux into molten tin in a tin pot. The flux cleaned the sheets so that the tin could adhere evenly, then passed through a wash pot and grease pot before being cleaned by a hot soda solution.
  • Tipstaff Policeman
  • Trammer : dragged trams laden with coal in coal mine
  • Trapper ; a child door keeper in coal mine.
  • Travers Toll bridge collection
  • Tucker Cleaner of cloth goods
  • Turner A person who turns wood on a lathe into spindles
  • Under carter
    • Just the chap who helped the carter - the man who drove the horses for a farmer or sometimes for a delivery firm in town. He would help load on and off, tie the tarpaulin down , light the cart lamps, and be ready to leap down and open/close gates, feed the horses, take them to their stable etc (the carter probably handled most of the horse work himself). And when the cart needed braking, it was his job to shove the hunk of wood into the wheel to stop it rolling. [Eve McLaughlin]
  • Victualer A tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy or ship with food
  • Vulcan Blacksmith
  • Wagoner Teamster not for hire
  • Wainwright Wagon maker
  • Waiter
    • Customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in
  • Washer; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Washmen ; worked in the tinplate manufacturing industry washing the plates between processes
  • Waterman Boatman who plies for hire
  • Webster Operator of looms
  • Weigher
    • Customs officer who weighed goods for duty purposes
  • Wharfinger Owner of a wharf
  • Wheeler to rolls ; worked in the tinplate  manufacturing industry
  • Wheelwright One who made or repaired wheels; wheeled carriages, etc.
  • Whitamer; involved in leather tanning/curing/processing trades
  • Whitesmith Tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work
  • Whitewing Street sweeper
  • Whitster Bleach of cloth
  • Wright Workman, especially a construction worker
  • Yeoman Farmer who owns his own land .


See also;

All of the following words have appeared on Welsh gravestones or memorial cards.

Many consonants at the beginning of Welsh words are changed according to how and where the words are used.

For example, plant (children) ei blant (his children) fy mhlant (my children) ei phlant (her children)

If all the possible variations of each word were included, this document would triple in size so, here's the code breaker.   If you can't find a word beginning with any of the following letters, try substituting the letters in brackets.

A(GA) B(P) CH(C) D(T) DD(D) E(GE) F(B or M) G(C) H(drop the h) L(LL or GL) M(B) MH(P) N(D) NG(G) NH(T) NGH(C) O(GO) PH(P) R(RH or GR) TH(T) W(GW) Y(GY).

  • A---- And
  • A ----  Who
  • Ac---- And
  • Aelod ---- Member
  • af (after numeral) ---- 1af = 1st
  • Afon ---- River
  • Am---- For
  • Annwyl/Anwyl ---- Beloved, Dear
  • Anwylaf---- Dearest
  • Ar---- On
  • Arglwydd---- Lord
  • Arweinydd y gan---- Precentor,one who leads singing
  • Athrawes---- Teacher (f)
  • Athro/Athraw ---- Teacher (m)
  • Awst---- August


  • Baban---- Baby
  • Bach---- Small
  • Bardd---- Poet, Bard
  • Bedd---- Grave
  • Bedyddiwyd ---- Was baptised
  • Bendith---- Blessing
  • Bendigedig---- Blessed
  • Blaenor---- Elder, Deacon
  • Blwydd ---- Years
  • Blwyddyn---- Year
  • Blynedd---- Years
  • Bod---- Being, Existence
  • Brawd ---- Brother
  • Bryn---- Hill
  • Bu---- (part of verb)
  • Bu farw---- Died
  • Bugail---- Shepherd
  • Byd---- World
  • Bywyd---- Life


  • Cae---- Field
  • Caer ---- Fort
  • Capel---- Chapel
  • Caredig---- Kind
  • Cariad---- Love
  • Cariadus ---- Lovable
  • Cariwr---- Carrier
  • Carreg---- Stone
  • Carreg Fedd ---- Gravestone
  • Cefn ---- Back, Ridge
  • Cefnder---- Cousin (m)
  • Cerddor---- Musician
  • Cerrig ---- Stones
  • Chwaer---- Sister
  • Chwaer yng nghyfraith---- Sister in law
  • Chwefror/Chwef---- February/Feb
  • Cist---- Chest, Coffer
  • Claddedigaeth ---- Burial
  • Claddfa---- Graveyard
  • Claddu ---- To bury
  • Claddwyd---- Was buried
  • Coch ---- Red
  • Codwr canu---- Precentor,one who leads singing
  • Cof ---- Memory, Remembrance
  • Coffa ---- Memory, Memorial
  • Coffadwriaeth ---- Remembrance
  • Cofio---- To remember
  • Collwyd---- Was lost
  • Corff/Corph ---- Body
  • Craig ---- Rock
  • Craig yr Oesoedd---- Rock of Ages
  • Creawdwr---- Creator
  • Croes---- Cross
  • Crydd ---- Shoemaker. Cobbler
  • Cyfenwyd---- Was named
  • Cyfnither---- Cousin (f)
  • Cyfreithiwr---- Solicitor, Lawyer
  • Cymraeg/Cymreig---- Welsh (adj)
  • Cymydog---- Neighbour
  • Cynt o---- Formerly of
  • Cysgu ---- To sleep


  • Daear---- Earth
  • Damwain ---- Accident
  • dd (after numeral) ---- 3dd = 3rd
  • Dewch ---- Come
  • Diacon---- Deacon
  • Dilledydd---- Draper
  • Diwedd ---- End
  • Diweddar---- Late, Deceased
  • Diwrnod ---- Day
  • Du ---- Black
  • Duw---- God
  • Dwr---- Water
  • Dydd---- Day
  • Dydd Gwener---- Friday
  • Dydd Iau---- Thursday
  • Dydd Llun---- Monday
  • Dydd Mawrth---- Tuesday
  • Dydd Merche---- r Wednesday
  • Dydd Sadwrn---- Saturday
  • Dydd Sul ---- Sunday
  • Dywededig---- Mentioned


  • Ebrill/Ebr---- April/Apr
  • ed (after numeral)---- 5ed = 5th
  • Ef/Efe ---- He, Him, It
  • Eglwys---- Church
  • Ei ---- Her, His
  • Emynydd---- Hymn Writer
  • Enwyd ---- Was Named
  • Er ---- For,since,though
  • Er cof am ---- In memory of
  • Eto---- Again
  • Eu---- Their
  • Ewythr---- Uncle
  • fed (after numeral) ---- 7fed = 7th
  • Ffermwr ---- Farmer
  • Ffordd---- Way, Road
  • Ffydd---- Faith
  • Ffyddlon/Fyddlawn---- Faithful
  • Ffynnon---- Well
  • Fy---- My


  • Gaeaf---- Winter
  • Gallt ---- hill, wooded hill-side
  • Ganed/Ganwyd ---- Was born
  • Garddwr---- Gardener
  • Glas---- Blue, Green
  • Gobaith---- Hope
  • Godidog---- Excellent, Rare
  • Gorffennaf/Gorff---- July/Jul
  • Gorphennaf/Gorph---- July/Jul
  • Gorwedd---- Lying [down]
  • Gorweddle---- Resting place
  • Gwanwyn ---- Spring
  • Gwas---- Servant
  • Gwasanaeth ---- Service
  • Gweddillion ---- Remains
  • Gweinidog---- Minister
  • Gwen---- White
  • Gwr ---- Husband, Man
  • Gwraig ---- Wife, Woman
  • Gwylfa---- Lookout, Watching place
  • Gwyn---- White
  • Haf---- Summer
  • Heb---- Without
  • Hedd---- Peace
  • Hefyd---- Also
  • Hen---- Old
  • Hi---- She, Her, It
  • Hoff---- Fond
  • Hon---- This (f)
  • Hunodd---- Fell asleep
  • Hwn---- This (m)
  • Hydref ---- Autumn
  • Hydref/Hyd ---- October/Oct
  • Hynaf---- Eldest


  • Iesu---- Jesus
  • Ieuanc ---- Young
  • Ieuangaf ---- Youngest
  • Ifancaf---- Youngest
  • Ionawr/Ion---- January/Jan
  • Isa/Isaf ---- Lower
  • Isod ---- Underneath


  • Llafur---- Labour
  • Lle---- Place


  • Mab---- Son
  • Mai---- May
  • Mam---- Mother
  • Mamgu---- Grandmother
  • Marw---- To die
  • Marwolaeth---- Death
  • Masnachydd ---- Merchant
  • Mawr---- Big
  • Mawrth---- March
  • Medi ---- September
  • Mehefin/Meh---- June
  • Meistres tloty---- Workhouse mistress
  • Merch ---- Daughter, Girl
  • Mis---- Month
  • Modryb---- Aunt
  • Mynwent---- Graveyard, Cemetery


  • Nai ---- Nephew
  • Nain ---- Grandmother
  • Nef ---- Heaven
  • Nefoedd---- Heavens
  • Nith ---- Niece


  • O ---- Of, From
  • O Dan ---- Under
  • Oddiwrth ---- From
  • Oed---- Age
  • Oedd ---- Was
  • Olaf ---- Last
  • O'r---- Of the, From the


  • Parch(edig)---- Rev(erend)
  • Parchus---- Respected, Respectful
  • Plant---- Children
  • Plentyn---- Child
  • Plwyf ---- Parish
  • Pregethwr ---- Preacher
  • Prif Swyddog ---- Chief Officer
  • Prifardd---- Chief Bard
  • Priod ---- Spouse


  • Rhagfyr/Rhag---- December/Dec
  • Rhieni---- Parents
  • Rhos---- Moor
  • Rhyd ---- Ford


  • Serchog---- Affectionate
  • Serchus---- Affectionate
  • Sir---- County
  • Swydd---- Office
  • Swyddog---- Officer


  • Tachwedd/Tach---- November/Nov
  • Tad---- Father
  • Tadcu---- Grandfather
  • Taflen ---- Tablet. Leaflet
  • Taflen Goffa ---- Memorial Leaflet/Card
  • Taid ---- Grandfather
  • Tan---- Under
  • Tangnefedd---- Peace
  • Tawel ---- Quiet, Peaceful
  • Tawelwch Peace
  • Telynor Harpist
  • Tir Land
  • Traeth Beach
  • Tre/Tref Town
  • Tros Over
  • Trwyn ---- Nose, Point
  • Trysorydd ---- Treasurer
  • Ty---- House
  • Tyner---- Tender, Gentle


  • Ucha/Uchaf ---- Upper
  • Uchod ---- Above


  • Wedi---- After
  • Wyr ---- Grandson
  • Wyres ---- Granddaughter
  • Wythnos---- Week


  • Y---- The
  • Ym ---- At, In
  • Yma---- Here
  • Ymadawedig---- Departed, deceased
  • Ymadawodd a ---- He/She departed from
  • Yn---- At, In
  • Ynys---- Island, River meadow
  • Yr ---- The
  • Ysgolfeistr---- Schoolmaster
  • Ysgrifennydd---- Secretary
  • Ysbryd Glan---- Holy Spirit/Ghost




Ynghanol ein bywyd, yr ydym yn angau.     In the midst of life we are in death.

Yr hyn a allodd hon, hi a'i gwnaeth.     Whatever she was able to do, she did.

Ac yn eu marwolaeth, ni wahanwyd hwy.      And in their death, they were not divided

Ei diwedd oedd heddwch.     Her end was peace

Da, was da a ffyddlon / ffyddlawn.    Well done thou good and faithful servant.

Dewch / Dos i mewn i lawenydd dy Arglwydd.     Come into the joy of your Lord.

Cofia nawr dy Greawdwr yn nyddiau dy ieuenctid.     Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth

Canys byw i mi yw Crist a marw sydd elw.      For me, to live is Christ and dying is gain.

Gwyn eu byd y tangnefeddwyr, canys hwy a elwir yn blant I Dduw.      Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.

Mi a ymdrechais ymdrech deg. Mi a orphenais fy ngyrfa. Mi a gedwais y ffydd.      I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith ( Timothy 4:7)

Hedd, Perffaith Hedd .       Peace, Perfect Peace.

History Book Welsh

I am indebted to ' An Illustrated History of Cardiganshire' by W J Lewis (1970) for this specimen collection of Welsh words and phrases typically found in Welsh language history books.

Shown in alphabetical order of the Welsh word











Ardal Wledig

Rural district

Argraffwyr a rhwymwyr llyfrau

Publishers and book binders



Barlys at wneud bara

Barley for making bread











Brysgyll Gareg

Stone Club



Bwyall Garreg

Stone Axe











Casglwyr rhacs

Rag and bone men

Castell Cerrig

Stone Castle







Cestyll Ceredigion

The Castles of Ceredigion



Cleddyr Byr

Short Sword











Cwar Llechi

Slate quarry







Cyfnod y Rhufeiniaid

The Roman Period

Cyfnodau Cyntefig

Primitive Times



Cylch Cerrig

Stone Circle





Deddf Rhuddlan

The Statute of Rhuddlan



Dinas Gaerog

Hill Fort

Dinasoedd Caerog

Hill Forts



Eglwys Blwyf

Parish Church

Eglwysai o dan ofal un offeiriad

Churches looked after by one priest

Eglwysi Celtaidd

Celtic Churches

Erydr Pren

Wooden ploughs



Ffair Gyflogau

Hiring fair



Ffatri Offer Callestr

Flint-Chipping Floor

Ffatri Wlan

Woollen factory



Fferm Wasgaredig

a scattered farm

Ffermwyr a gweithwyr amaethyddol

Farmers and agricultural workers



Ffin y Dywysogaeth

Boundary of the Principality



Ffordd Dosbarth I

First Class Road

Ffordd Drwodd

Trunk Road

Ffordd Dyrpeg

Turnpike Road







Ffyrdd Tyrpeg

Turnpike Roads


The Roads

Glanhawyr simneiau








Gwaith Brics

Brick works

Gwaith Haearn

Iron works

Gwaith Halen

Salt works



Gwaywffon Bres

Brass Spear





Gweithwyr ffowndri


Gwerthwyr glo

Coal merchants

Gwerthwyr gwinoedd a gwirodydd

Wine and spirit merchants

Gwerthwyr llaeth


Gwerthwyr llieiniau a brethynnau

Cloth merchants

Gwerthwyr llysiau

Green grocers

Gwerthwyr Nwyddau haearn


Gwerthwyr papur ysgrifennu


Gwerthwyr yd

Corn merchants





Gwneuthurwyr basgedi

Basket makers

Gwneuthurwyr canhwyllau


Gwneuthurwyr clociau a watsus

Clock and watch makers

Gwneuthurwyr hetiau a hosanau


Gwneuthurwyr hwyliau llongau


Gwneuthurwyr menyg

Glove makers

Gwneuthurwyr rhaffau












Hen ffurf yr enwau a roddir

Names are given their old form

Hen Fynachlog Geltaidd

Old Celtic Monastery

Heol Gefn

Back Street

Heol y Moch

Pig Street





Iard Goed

Timber Yard

Iard Saer Llongau

Shipbuilding yard






Leather workers



Llestr Bwyd

Food Vessel

Llestr Pridd

Earthen Vessel

Llifio Coed

Saw Mills

Llifwyr coed


Llosgwyr calch





Standing Stone



Mannau Cyfarfod a Thai Cyrddau

Meeting Place and Chapels





Meddygon anifeiliaid

Veterinary surgeons

Melin  Fflawd

Flour Mill



Methodistiaid Calfinaidd

Calvinistic Methodists

Methodistiaid Wesleaidd

Wesleyan Methodists







Muriau'r Dref

The town walls

Mwrthwl Carreg

Stone Hammer

Mwrthwl-fwyall Carreg

Stone Axe-Hammer

Mwyn Copor

Copper Ore

Mwynglawdd Aur

Gold Mine

Mwynglawdd Plwm

Lead Mine







Odynau Calch

Lime kilns

Oes y Cerrig

The Stone Age

Oes y Pres

Bronze Age

Offer Cerrig

Stone Tools

Offer Pres

Brass Tools


Fulling mill













Powdr Gwn




Prynwyr a gwerthwyr ceffylau

Horse dealers

Rhawian Coes-hir

Long-handled shovels





Seiri llongau


Seiri troliau a chyweirwyr melinau










Tai'r Uchelwyr

Houses of the Early Gentry

Taith Gerallt Gymro

The Journey of Gerald the Welshman

Tarian Bres

Brass Shield





Terfysg Rebecca

Rebecca Riot



Tir Agored

Open land

Tir dros 500'

Land over 500 ft

Tir Garw

Rough pasture

Tir Glas

Pasture land

Tir Llafur

Arable land



Toddwyr (Plwm)

Lead smelters



Tomen a Beili

Motte and Bailey









Ty Unnos

A one-night house

Tyfiant Ymneulltuaeth

Growth of Nonconformity





Wrn Gladdu

Burial Urn

Wrn Lludw'r Meirw

Urn for the Ashes of the Dead

Y Diwydiant Gwlan

The Woollen Industry

Y Porthmyn a'r Gyrroedd

The Drovers and their Droves

Y Rheilffordd

The Railways

Y Siroedd

The Counties



Ymenyn a Chaws

Butter and Cheese

Yng Nghyfnod y Tuduriaid

In Tudor Times

Yr Hen Ddiwydiant Cartref

The old cottage industry

Yr Oesoedd Canol

The Middle Ages

Ysgol Breifat

Private School

Ysgol Ddyddiol

Day School

Ysgol Sul

Sunday School



Ystrad Fflur

Strata Florida


Welsh nationality

A Book of Wales   by D M & E M Lloyd 1953.

In the authors' introduction to the book is this series of passages which to me anyway says all that needs to be said about the concept of 'Welsh nationality'..

"Included in this book is a translation of one of the most widely known passages by the best loved of modern Welsh writers, the late Sir Owen M Edwardes [ 1858-1920].[See The Soul of a Nation] He knew well enough what he meant when he said that Wales had a soul. He was not worried by metaphysical niceties, and neither was he thinking in terms of racial purity.

On racialism we can do no better than quote Sir Ifor Williams, doyen of Welsh scholarship today, who once remarked that 'the people of England and of Wales are formed of the same racial ingredients, although not necessarily in the same proportions, but that the same is true of Christmas cake and plum pudding, only that one has been baked and the other boiled ' !

The varying racial proportions probably have some bearing on national temperament, modes of feeling and artistic gifts, but in the main our distinctive national characteristics are the fruits of age-long common experiences, the results of having inhabited the same corner of the earth, the incalculable effects of the natural scene and the affinities born of it, of having spoken a common tongue, created our own institutions, shared the same responsibilities, felt the same community sense, and borne the effects of the same national development.

We can still recognise ourselves in the people of Giraldus's Wales of the twelfth century--our faults and our good qualities, though much has changed.

The Wales of Giraldus and that of Jack Jones are peopled by the same warm-hearted impulsive folk, often contentious, susceptible to the appeal of oratory, relishers of the finely-turned and bold phrase, and passionately attached to the local community and surroundings.

They realise themselves in the interplay of personal relations within the neighbourhood and country to which they feel they belong, and have a deep distrust of any impersonal officialdom, privilege, or remote control.

A shrewdness and distrust of vague sentiment are combined with a responsiveness to the appeal of music and clear forcible expression in verse, prose, or in pulpit or platform speech.

Here is no 'Celtic twilight', but a love of clarity, brilliance, distinct colours and striking antithesis. These are our prevailing modes."

The Soul of a Nation by Sir Owen M Edwardes[1858-1920] [ Er Mwyn Cymru, translated by D M Lloyd]

"But Wales has a soul, a soul which is her own. And she can lose it. Education may thrive, religion may increase its hold, freedom may be won, the poor may arise from the dust and become powerful, the wealthy may be strong and flourish like the green bay, and the nation's soul may weaken and fade. The nation may lose itself in the empire, and be a dead member and not a living one, her voice never more to be heard. And if that calamity were to come about, Wales would be without a soul, and the world would be the poorer. When the next upsurge of freedom and religion would take place, Wales would not be there to hold up the banner ; her voice would have been silenced...

May Wales succeed in every possible way.  Equality and freedom will come ; a University and a Hospital Service ; and many a dream will be fulfilled. But let us not lose sight of the nation's soul, lest among much fine building and enthusiastic committee-work it vanish from sight. May it be fostered in the schools and the various colleges of the University. But the hearth is its cradle. The spirit of Wales is born in the mountain farmhouse, in the cottage by the brook, in the coal-miner's home. And if it be not fostered the Welsh nation will become merely derivative and second rate, an imitator of something inferior to her own true life. If she guards her soul, she has it in herself to make her contribution among the leaders of the world. In a delicate love of country, and in steadfast faith, may our aim be no less."

[Gareth Hicks 25 April 2001]

Welsh proverbs

Or even 'proverbs in Welsh'.

This selection of proverbs/sayings/similes/idioms are ones that have caught my eye and include many that were probably familiar to our Welsh ancestors, there are hundreds more  to be found  in ;

  • Y Geiriadur Newydd by H Meurig Evans and W O Thomas, (1956)
  • Lluniau Llafar [Idioms for Welsh learners] by Cennard Davies, (1980)

Be aware that the literal translation of the Welsh phrase is not necessarily that given, but the usual meaning in English .

A chroen ei ddannedd    By the skin of one's teeth

A ddarlenno, ysteried         Let him who reads reflect

A ddwg wy a ddwg fwy       He who steals an egg will steal more

A fo ben, bid bont               He who would be head let him be a bridge

A fynno glod, bid farw     He who desires fame, let him die

A fynno iechyd, bid lawen      He he would be healthy, let him be cheerful

A geir yn rhad, a gerdd yn rhwydd      What is got cheaply, goes quickly

A'i ben yn ei blu     Disheartened

A wnel dwyll, ef a dwyllir    He who deceives, shall be deceived

A ystyrio, cofied     Let him who reflects, remember

Aderyn y nos    Someone who stays out late

Adfyd a ddwg wybodaeth, a gwygodaeth ddoethineb   Adversity brings knowledge, and knowledge wisdom

Afrad pob afraid     Everything needless is waste

Agos at ei galon   Close to one's heart

Am y tywydd, gorau tewi    It is best to be silent about the weather

Aml bai lle ni charer    There's many a fault where there's no love

Amynedd yw mam pob doethineb     Patience is the mother of all wisdom

Angel pen ffordd, a diawl pen tan    An angel abroad, and a devil at home

Annoeth, llithrig ei dafod  The foolish has a flippant tongue

Ar ben y ffordd      On the right track

Ar bigau'r drain   On tenter hooks

Ar bob cyfrif      By all means

Ar draws fy nannedd    Not pleasant to hear

Ar ei ben ei hun(an)    On his own

Ar flaenau ei fysedd   At the tips of his fingers

Ar gefn ei geffyl gwyn     Full of mischief

Arfer yw hanner y gwaith    Practice is half the work

At y blewyn   To a tee

Athro da yw amser   Time is a good teacher

Bach pob dyn a dybio ei hun yn fawr   Small is every man who considers himself great

Bod a llaw rydd    To be single

Brawd yw celwyddog i leidr   The liar is brother to the thief

Bugunad fel tarw   To roar like a bull

Bychan y tal cyngor gwraig, ond gwae i wr nas cymero   A wife's advice is not worth much, but woe to the husband who refuses to take it

Bys ymhob brywes   A finger in every pie

Byw fel ci a hwch    Leading a cat and dog life

Byw o'r fawd i'r genau    Living from hand to mouth

Cadarn pob cyfiawn   The just are strong

Cadw ci a chyfarth ei hunan   Keeping a dog and doing his own barking

Cadw dy fodiau i ti dy hun     Keep your hands to yourself

Cael caws o fola ci    Trying the impossible

Cau ceg rhwyn       To shut someone's mouth

Cau'r drws ar ddannedd dyn     Shutting the door in one's face

Car cywir, yn yr ing fe'i gwelir   A friend in need is a friend indeed

Cenedl heb iaeth, cenedl heb galon   A nation without language, a nation without heart

Cenfigen a ladd ei pherchennog  Envy destroys its possessor

Cic i'r post i'r fuwch gael clywed     An indirect hint

Cnoi ei dafod    To hold his tongue

Cochi at ei glystiau   To blush deeply

Codi bys at     To reproach

Codi bys bach    To imbibe

Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir  Believe one tenth of what you hear, and you will get some little truth

Croen ei din ar ei dalcen    In a bad mood

Cura'r haearn tra fo'n boeth   Strike the iron whilst its hot

Cyfaill blaidd, bugail diog   A lazy shepherd is the wolf's friend

Cyfaill calon   Close friend

Cyfoethog pob dedwydd    Wealthy are the happy

Cyn dloted a llygoden eglwys     As poor as a church mouse

Cyn falched a phaun     As proud as a peacock

Cyn farwed a hoel    As dead as a door nail

Cyn hacred a phechod   As ugly as sin

Cyn ysgafned a'r plufyn    As light as a feather

Cyntaf ei og, cyntaf ei gryman    First with his harrow, first with his sickle

Cysgu ci bwtsiwr   To sleep lightly

Cyw gwaelod y nyth     Youngest child in a family

Cyw gwyllt   An illegitimate child

Chwedl a gynydda fel caseg eira    A tale increases like a rolling stone

Chwerthin a wna ynfyd wrth foddi   The fool will laugh whilst drowing

Chwerthin yn fy nwrn    To laugh up one's sleeve

Chwilio am eira llynedd    Searching for what is gone by

Chwynnwch eich gardd eich hun yn gyntaf    Weed your own garden first

Dafad ddu     Black sheep

Dal y ddysgl yn wastad   Keeping the peace

Ddim gwerth cnec mochyn coron     Worthless

Ddim yn werth ei halen    Not worth his salt

Deuparth gwaith, ei ddechrau   Beginning is two thirds of work

Dim rhwng ei dwy glust    Dull

Dodi'r droed orau ymlaen    To put the best foot forward

Doeth pob tawgar   Wise is the silent

Dwy law chwith      Useless

Edrych yn llygad y geiniog    Practising thrift

Eli i pob dolur yw amynedd   Patience is an ointment for every sore

Enw da yw'r trysor gorau     A good name is the best of treasures

Fel cacynen mewn bys coch    Greatly annoyed

Fel cath i gythraul, fel cath o dan     Speedily

Fel ci bach    One who does as he is told

Fel iar ag uncyw    Fussily

Fel iar dan badell     Sulkily

Fel iar glwc     Miserable

Fel iar yn crafu      Getting no where

Fel lladd nadroeth     Full of fuss

Fel swigen mochyn    Bald as a coot

Fel twll tin ci ar yr haul     Dull

Gair dros ysgwydd       A promise not kept

Gan bwyll y mae mynd ymhell    Going slowly, going far

Gollwng y gath o'r cwd      Letting the cat out of the bag

Gorau cyfoeth, iechyd     The best wealth is health

Gormod o ddim nid yw dda    Too much of anything is not good

Gwell aderyn mewn llaw na dau mewn llwyn    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Gwell clwt na thwll    Better a patch than a hole

Gwell dysg na golud     Better learning than wealth

Gwell goddef cam na'i wneuthur   Better suffer wrong than do it

Gwell hanner na dim    Better half than nothing

Gwell hwyr na hwyrach     Better late than never

Gwell y wialen a blygo nag a dorro   Better the rod that bends than one that breaks

Gwell yr heddwch gwaethaf na'r rhyfel gorau     Better the worst peace than the best war

Gwisg orau merch yw gwylder   Modesty is a girl's best dress

Gwynt teg iddo     Good luck to him

Gyda llaw    By the way

Hawdd clwyfo claf    It is easy to wound the sick

Hawdd cynnau tan ar hen aelwyd    It is easy to kindle a fire on an old hearth

Haws dywedyd mawr na gwneuthur bychan    It is easier to say much than do a little

Heb droi blewyn   Without fear, shame

Heb ei fai, heb ei eni   He who is without fault is not born

Heb flewyn ar ei dafod    Outspoken

Heb wraig, heb ymryson    Without wife, without strife

Hen fys   An old bore

Hen geg   A gossip

Hen gofion      Memories

Hen gwcw       A fool

Hir ei dafod, byr ei wybod     A long tongue and little knowledge

I drwch y blewyn     Exactly so

I'r pant y rhed y dwr   Water flows to the valley

Lladd amser    Killing time

Llais y wlad    Public opinion

Mae rhyw chwilen yn ei ben     He has a bee in his bonnet

Mae'n draed moch arnaf        I'm in a fix

Mae'n ddigon oer i rewi brain     It's cold enough to freeze a brass monkey

Magu asgwrn cefn   To pluck up courage

Mewn chwinciad llygad llo   In a flash

Mewn gwaed oer    In cold blood

Mewn undeb y mae nerth        Unity is strength

Mor ddi-ddal a cheiliog y gwynt     As unreliable as a weather-cock

Mor ddistaw a'r bedd    As silent as the grave

Mynd i gwrdd a gofid      Going to meet trouble

Mynd i'r cwn   Going to the dogs

Na ddeffro'r ci a fo'n cysgu    Let sleeping dogs lie

Nac adrodd a glywaist rhag ei fod yn gelwyddog     Repeat not what you hear, lest it be false

Nes penelin nag arddwrn     Nearer elbow than wrist (Blood is thicker than water)

Ni ddaw ddoe yn ol     Yesterday will not return

Ni wyr dyn ddolur y llall      One man knows not another's pain

Nid aur, popeth melyn     All that is yellow is not gold (..glitters..)

Nid da rhy o ddim   Too much of anything is not good

Nid hawdd bodloni pawb    It is not easy to please everyone

Nid oes dim dwywaith amdani   There's no doubt about it

Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu   There is none too old to learn

Nid yn y bore y mae canmol diwrnod teg     The morning is not the time to praise a fair day

Nid yw chwedl yn colli wrth ei hadrodd    A story loses nothing by repetition

O ddau ddrwg dewiser y lleiaf      Of two evils chose the lesser

Oni heuir, ni fedir    No reaping without sowing

Os daw Mawrth i mewn fel oen a allan fel llew    If March comes in like a lamb it will go out like a lion

Os nad oes dim gwahaniaeth gennych    If you don't mind

Pawb a'i fys lle bo'i ddolur    Everyone puts his finger where his pain lies

Plant gwirionedd yw hen ddiarhebion     Old proverbs are the children of truth

Po mwyaf y llanw, mwyaf y trai      The greater the flow, the greater the ebb

Pryn hen, pryn eilwaith     Buy the old, buy again

Prynu cath mewn cwd   To buy a pig in a poke

Rhaid yw cropian cyn cerdded    One must crawl before walking

Rhaid wrth lwy hir i fwyta gyda'r diafol   It needs a long spoon to sup with the devil

Rhedeg yn y gwaed     To run in the blood

Rhoi tafod drwg   To abuse someone

Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar   Everyone has a right to his opinion, and to express it.

Synnwyr y fawd    Rule of thumb

Taer yw'r gwir am y golau   Truth is eager for the light

Tamaid o geg     Just what I was going to say

Taro'r hoelen ar ei phen   To hit the nail on the head

Tawed y doeth, annoeth ni thaw (thau)     Let the wise be silent, the foolish will not

Tebyg i ddyn fydd ei lwdwn   Like father like offspring

Torri calon  To feel sad

Traed hwyad   Flat feet

Trech angen na dewis    Necessity is stronger than choice

Tynnu blew o drwyn rhywun    To annoy someone

Un pechod a lusg gant ar ei ol   One sin draws a hundred after it

Y byd a'r betws    The world and the church

Y cwbl i fi, a'r rhest i Sioni 'mrawd      The lot for me, and the rest for my brother John

Y doeth ni ddywed a wyr      The wise does not say all he knows

Y mae'r llygad yn fwy na'r bola     The eye is bigger than the stomach

Ychedig yn aml a wna lawer    A little often becomes much

Ymhob pen y mae 'pinwn      In every head there is an opinion

Yn araf deg yr a gwr ymhell    Slow of pace to travel far

Yn dew ac yn denau       Everywhere

Yn ddistaw fach    On the quiet

Yn ddwl fel llo     Very stupid

Yn sal fel ci     As sick as a dog

Yr hen a wyr, yr ieuanc a dybia     The old knows, the young surmises

Yr hwch wedi mynd drwy'r siop      To be made bankrupt

Yr oen yn dysgu i'r ddafad bori        The lamb teaching the ewe to graze



See also Welsh pet names

Following a Glamlist query it came to me that it was about time I had a feature relating to shortened forms of forenames and also pet names people used within families for each other.

The two lists below have largely been contributed by listers, but with a major input by Jill Muir from an article she had produced herself some time ago.

There are some which confusingly appear to have multiple related original names and are included even if  it is unclear to what extent they were used outside particular families, at least we know what other possibilites there might be when we can't find our Nancy etc on a census. Some abbreviations may seem obvious, but it still depends on whether you know the full name or not.

I have also thrown in some of the more common traditional Welsh names [marked ] with their English equivalents.


  • Abbie = Abigail
  • Addie/Addy = Adelaide
  • Aggie = Agatha/Agnes
  • Alex = Alexandra
  • Aly = Alison/Alice
  • Amelia = Millicent
  • Angie = Angela/Angelina
  • Ann = Annetta/Anita
  • Ann /Anna= Hannah
  • Annie = Ann
  • Babs = Barbara
  • Bea /Beattie= Beatrice
  • Becky = Rebecca
  • Bedelia = Bridget
  • Bella = Isabella
  • Bernie = Bernadette
  • Bess/Bessie/Bet/Beth/Betsey/Betty = Elizabeth
  • Beti/Betsan/Betsi = Betty/Betsy
  • Biddy = Bridget
  • Bim = Belinda
  • Bren = Brenda
  • Bron = Bronwen
  • Bytha = Tabitha
  • Carie = Caroline
  • Carol = Caroline
  • Cassie = Catherine
  • Catrin/ Cadi = Catherine
  • Cat/Cathy = Catherine
  • Ceri = Ceridwen
  • Charlie = Charlotte
  • Chelle = Michelle
  • Cilla = Priscilla
  • Chris = Christine
  • Chrissy = Christina
  • Cis/Cissie = Cecily/Cecilia  [May also just stand for sister !]
  • Clary = Clara
  • Connie = Constance
  • Dee = Dorothy
  • Della = Adelia
  • Di = Diana
  • Dodo/Dora = Deborah
  • Doll/Dollie/Dolly = Doreen/Dorothy/Doris/Florence
  • Dora = Theodora/Deborah
  • Dorrie = Dorothy
  • Dot = Dorothy
  • Eddie [pronounced Eaddie] = Edith
  • Elen = Helen
  • Eliza = Elizabeth
  • Ella = Isabella
  • Ellie = Ellen
  • Emily = Amelia
  • Elsie= Esther ? /Elizabeth
  • Em/Emmie = Emily/Emma
  • Eppy = Hephzibah
  • Ester = Hester
  • Esther = Estherazy
  • Eth = Ethel
  • Etta = Henrietta
  • Eve/Evie = Evelyn
  • Fanny = Frances/Myfanwy
  • Fano/Vano = Myfanwy
  • Fi = Fiona
  • Flo/Flora/Florrie/Floss = Florence
  • Fran/Frannie = Frances
  • Freda = Fredericka
  • Gerry = Geraldine
  • Gert/Gertie = Gertrude
  • Gill = Gillian
  • Gwen/Gwenno = Gwendoline/Gwenllian
  • Gussie = Augusta
  • Hannah = Susannah
  • Harry = Harriet
  • Hatty = Harriet
  • Heppy/Hepsie = Hephzibah
  • Het/Hetty = Esther or Henrietta
  • Issy = Isabel/Isabella
  • Izzie = Elizabeth
  • Jacky = Jacqueline
  • Jennie/Jenny = Jennifer/Janet/Jennet
  • Jill = Gillian ?
  • Jinny = Virginia
  • Jo = Joanna
  • Kate/Katie/Katy/Cathy = Catherine/Katherine
  • Katie = Katriona/ Catriona
  • Kes = Kerry
  • Kit/Kitty = Christine/Kate/Katherine
  • Lal/Lally/Lelly = Eleanor/Elinor/Hannah
  • Lettie = Leticia/Lucetia
  • Libby = Elizabeth
  • Lilly = Lilian
  • Lina = Selina
  • Liv = Olivia
  • Liz/Liza/Lizzie/Lizzy/Lillie/Lillibet/Lilly = Elizabeth
  • Lottie = Charlotte
  • Lou/Louie = Louise
  • Luce = Lucy
  • Mab[s] = Mabel
  • Madge = Margaret ?
  • Mag/Maggie = Margaret
  • Mair/Mari = Mary
  • Maisie = Margaret
  • Mali = Molly
  • Marge/Margie = Margaret
  • Marged/Mererid = Margaret
  • Marg = Marjory
  • Mattie/Matty = Matilda/Martha
  • May = Margaret/Mary
  • Meg = Megan/Margaret
  • Millie = Millicent/Amelia/Mildred
  • Mim = Miriam
  • Minnie = Margaret/Wilhelmina /Hermione/Minerva/Miriam
  • Mo - Maureen
  • Moll/Molly = Mary
  • Nan/Nance/Nancy = Ann[e]
  • Nat = Natasha
  • Nell/Nellie = Helen/Ellen
  • Netta = Anetta/Henrietta
  • Nora = Leonora/Honora
  • Pam = Pamela
  • Pat/Patsy = Patricia
  • Patti = Martha
  • Pedge = Marjorie
  • Peg/Peggy = Margaret
  • Penny = Penelope
  • Phil = Philomena
  • Polly = Mary/Mary Ann
  • Prue= Prudence/ Prunella
  • Rae/Ray = Rachael/Rachel
  • Rene = Irene
  • Rian = Rhianedd
  • Rita = Margaret
  • Ro/Rose/Rosie = Rosemary
  • Ronnie = Veronica
  • Sam = Samantha
  • Sal/Sally/Sadie = Sarah
  • Sian = Jane
  • Sibby = Sybil
  • Sophie = Sophia
  • Sue/Susie/Suzie = Susan/Susanne/Susanna/Susannah
  • Sukey = Susan
  • Tasha = Natasha
  • Terry = Theresa
  • Tetia = Letitia
  • Theo = Theodora
  • Tricia /Trissie = Patricia
  • Trina = Katrina
  • Val - Valerie/Valmai
  • Vera = Veronica ?
  • Vi = Violet
  • Vicky = Victoria
  • Vira/Vera = Elvira
  • Viv/Vivie= Vivienne
  • Win/Winnie = Winifred


  • Abe = Abraham
  • Al = Alan
  • Alb = Albert
  • Alec/Alex = Alexander
  • Alf = Alfred
  • Algy = Algernon
  • Andy = Andrew
  • Archie = Archibald
  • Artie = Arthur
  • Baldie = Archibald
  • Bart = Bartholomew
  • Ben/Benjie = Benjamin
  • Bert/Bertie = Albert/Hubert
  • Bill/Billy = William
  • Bob/Bobby = Robert
  • Brin = Brinley
  • Chas/Charley= Charles
  • Chris = Christopher
  • Chuck = Charles
  • Cliff = Clifford
  • Con = Conrad
  • Cy/Sy = Cyril
  • Dafydd = David
  • Dai/Dave/Davey = David
  • Dan/Danny = Daniel
  • Deio/Dewi = David
  • Del = Derek
  • Dick/Dickie = Richard
  • Don = Donald
  • Doug/Dougie = Douglas
  • Ed/Eddie = Edward/Edgar/Edwin ?
  • Ern/Ernie = Ernest
  • Frank = Francis
  • Fred = Frederick/Wilfred
  • Gary = Gareth
  • Geoff = Geoffrey
  • Gerry = Gerald
  • Gib/Gilb = Gilbert
  • Greg = Gregory
  • Gus = Augustus
  • Hal/Harry = Henry/Harold
  • Hank = Henry
  • Howie = Howell
  • Hubie = Hubert
  • Huw = Hugh
  • Hywel = Howell
  • Iago = James
  • Ieuan/Ifan/Iwan/Ianto = Evan
  • Ike = Isaac
  • Ioan = John
  • Issie = Isaac
  • Jack = John
  • Jake = Jacob
  • Jamie = James
  • Jeff = Jeffrey
  • Jem/Jez = Jeremy
  • Jerry = Jeremiah/Jeremy
  • Jim = James
  • Jock = John
  • Joe = Joseph
  • Johnny = John
  • Jon = Jonathan
  • Josh = Joshua
  • Ken = Kenneth
  • Kit = Christopher
  • Lee = Brinley
  • Len = Leonard
  • Leo = Leonard
  • Les = Lesley
  • Llew = Llewelyn
  • Llwyd = Lloyd
  • Lyn = Llewelyn
  • Mal = Maldwyn
  • Matt = Matthew
  • Meurig = Maurice
  • Mich/Mick/Mike = Michael
  • Mihangel = Michael
  • Mog = Morgan
  • Morus/Moris/Morys = Morris
  • Myrddin = Merlin
  • Nat = Nathan/Nathanial
  • Nye = Aneurin
  • Ollie = Oliver
  • Owain = Owen
  • Padrig = Patrick
  • Pat = Patrick
  • Pedr = Peter
  • Perc/Percy = Percival
  • Phil = Philip/Phillip
  • Prys = Price
  • Puw = Pugh
  • Randy = Randolph
  • Ray = Raymond
  • Rhisiart = Richard
  • Rhydderch = Roderick
  • Rhys = Rees
  • Rick = Richard
  • Rod = Roderick/Rodney
  • Ron/Ronnie = Ronald
  • Ross =  Rosslyn
  • Roy = Royston
  • Sandy = Alexander
  • Siam/Siams = James
  • Sion/Sioni = John
  • Seb = Sebastian
  • Sid = Sidney
  • Simy/Sime = Simon
  • Stan = Stanley
  • Steffan = Stephen
  • Steve = Stephen
  • Stu = Stewart
  • Ted = Edward
  • Teddy = Theodore
  • Theo = Theodore
  • Tom = Thomas
  • Tomos/Twm = Thomas/Tom
  • Tony = Anthony
  • Vic = Victor
  • Viv = Vivian/Vincent
  • Walt = Walter
  • Wat = Walter/Watcyn
  • Wil/Will/Willy = William
  • Wmffre = Humphrey
  • Zenie = Thomasina