0996e A short description of the Gwentian dialect, c. 1895, by Joseph A. Bradney, Tal-y-coed, Gwent. “The Welsh language is practically dead in this district, which fact will perhaps make the preservation in print of the local pronunciation of some value. I lay no claim to a scientific knowledge of the language and merely give the words that in my youth I was accustomed to hear.”

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Y Wenhwyseg (tafodiaith y de-ddwyrain)
Gwentian (the dialect of the south-east)

The Gwentian dialect c.1895


 


(In brackets, in orange type, I have added comments. For the original text, without comments, see the version in red print at the end of the page)
 

 
Bradney, Joseph A  (Tal-y-coed, Gwent.) 1921   The Gwentian dialect Archaeologia Cambrensis 76, 145-146.
_____________________________

The Gwentian Dialect

The notes by the Editor (Sixth Series, Vol. XX, p286) on dialects and local forms of speech and pronunciation induce me to offer a few observations on the speech of the old inhabitants of Gwent. The Welsh language is practically dead in this district, which fact will perhaps make the preservation in print of the local pronunciation of some value. I lay no claim to a scientific knowledge of the language and merely give the words that in my youth I was accustomed to hear.
_____________________________

One of the most unusual intonations is to employ t instead of d in many words, as

Oty mae e for ydyw;

nac ote for nag ydyw

ffetog for ffedog (apron), &c.
_____________________________

The plural of words such as mab, dyon, is meibon, dynon.
_____________________________

Other words are:-
(The author notes in a footnote: “A star is placed against those words noted in the article alluded to above”, that is, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Sixth Series, Vol. XX, p286)

*Wado, to beat.

Mentig, a loan; rhoi mentig, to lend. (“give a loan”)

*Lletiaith (llediaith) for accent, as when a man speaks English with a Welsh accent, and vice versa.

Taclau, harness.

*Pwtwr, lazy. (pwdr = rotten; lazy)

*Rhaca, a rake; rhaca-troi. to rake-turn the hay.

*Siwrna, a journey. (siwrnau = journey)

Shimla, a chimney. (shimnai = chimney)

Cyffylau gwaith, cart horses, as opposed to nag horses. (Literally: horses (of) work)

*Eifed, ripe; as, mae’r ’falau yn eifed. (aeddfed = ripe; mae’r afalau yn aedfed = the apples are ripe)

Danant, nettles. (danadl).

*Cered, to walk. (cerdded = to walk)

Rheteg, to run. (rhedeg = to run)

*Gryndo, to hear. (gwrando = to hear)

*Gwddwg, neck. In “Parochalia,” by Edward Lhwyd (II, 36), the waterfall in the parish of Llanfihangel Nant Melan, Radnorshire, called nowadays Water Break its Neck, is said to be “yn torri i gwddwf.” [Perhaps, however, the last letter f is a misreading for g.] (gwddf = neck; in the north, gwddwf > gwddw; in the south, gwddwg)

*Gwinedd, finger nails. (gwinedd < winedd < ewinedd)

Rhetig, to plough, for aredig.

*Mwrthwl, a hammer.

Gweitho for Gweithio. (gweithio = to work)

Clwyd
, a gate, clwyd dwy droed, a hurdle.

Ty cwrdd, a meeting house, signifying the nonconformist chapel as opposed to the church (eglwys). ((a) house (of) meeting)

Clawd for tlawd. An old saying of the parish of Goitre (= Y Goetre), which has a poor, hungry soil, is

Goitre glawd
Heb na bara na blawd.

(poor Goetre, with neither bread nor flour)

Dau, two, pronounced dou.

Hicen, twenty (ugain).

Buwch, a cow; the plural is always gwartheg (cows);

da, cattle in general.

Cymdogion for cymdeithion. (cymdogion = neighbours, cymdeithion = fellow travellers)

Iaca for ia (ice). (iâ = ice)

Doti for dodi; doti coed, to plant trees. (dodi = to put, to place)

Kind, for well or good, as mae’r coed bach yn tyfu yn gind. (standard spelling ceind; the little trees are growing well)

Crefa, for cryfau, as mae’r moch bach yn crefa. (the little pigs are growing)

Beili, the fold or yard of a farm house. [Latin ballium]

The third person singular of the prefect tense is often ws instead of oedd (in fact, -odd), as fe wetws wrtho i (he told me).

Rhyng for rhwng. (between)

Rhw for rhy (too), as mae’n rhw oer i fynd i maes. (it’s too cold to go out)

Drys
for tros, as drys y bont. (over the bridge)

Worlod for gweirglawdd, as worlod glan Toddi (the meadow by the side of the Trothy)

Ffwrwm, a bench. At Machen is an inn is Y ffwrwm ishta (eistedd), so called from an ancient bench outside the house. (y ffwrwm ishta / Y ffwrm eistedd = the bench (of) sitting)

Rit yr heol for ar hyd yr heol (along the road)

Yn glau (pronounced gloy); as rhetwch yn glau (run quickly)

Anghommon (= anghomon) for anghyffredin; as wy’ yn lico seidr yn anghommon (I like cider uncommonly). At the election of 1886 political arguments took place; an old man, a great Liberal, used to end the discussio by saying, “Wel, wel, wy’ yn lico Mr. Gladstone yn anghommon, with great stress on the penultimate syllable”.

Cascen, a cask or hogshead. (= casgen)

Cladde, mantelpiece; the gun was kept in a rack uwch y cladde.

cwtch (cysgu) (in fact, not connected with Welsh cysgu = to sleep; from Middle English < Old French coucher, lie down), used only in English; a man orders his dog to go cwtsh in the cornel.

Crwtyn
, a boy; in English, the phrase is often used a crot of a boy, meaning a very little fellow.

Meillion, the Dutch clover; the common clover is called by the English name.

Gwas y neidr, dragon fly.

The bells of
Welsh Newton Church (Welsh Newton SO 4918, 5km north of Trefynwy, in Ergyn; since the annexation of Wales to England, in the English county of Herefordshire) are said to sing, Erfin, cawl erfin, (turnips, soup (of) turnips / turnip soup) the people being so poor that they had only turnips to eat.

Gwadd, mole; but in English the mole is always called locally an wnt.

Costrel, used in Welsh and English for the wooden bottle containing cider.
_____________________________

Some of the above words are used all over Wales; some are peculiar to Gwent, and some may be considered as mere Anglicisms, as may be expected in a district so near to the English border. It would apprear to me that the Welsh in the life of St. David (“Cambro-British Saints,” p. 102) very nearly represents the Gwentian form of the language.
_____________________________

Footnote: *A star is placed against those words noted in the article alluded to above
(The article referrred to is in Archaeologia Cambrensis, Sixth Series, Vol. XX, p286)
_____________________________
Tal-y-coed, Gwent.
JOSEPH A. BRADNEY

(Tal-y-coed SO4115, 7km north of Rhaglan, 11km west of Y Fenni and 10km east of Trefynwy, on the Y Fenni - Trefynwy road)

 Click on the map to find Tal-y-coed

ORIGINAL TEXT
The Gwentian Dialect
The notes by the Editor (Sixth Series, Vol. XX, p286) on dialects and local forms of speech and pronunciation induce me to offer a few observations on the speech of the old inhabitants of Gwent. The Welsh language is practically dead in this district, which fact will perhaps make the preservation in print of the local pronunciation of some value. I lay no claim to a scientific knowledge of the language and merely give the words that in my youth I was accustomed to hear.

One of the most unusual intonations is to employ t instead of d in many words. as
Oty mae e for ydyw;
nac ote for nag ydyw
ffetog for ffedog (apron), &c.

The plural of words such as mab, dyon, is meibon, dynon.

Other words are:-
*Wado, to beat.
Mentig, a loan; rhoi mentig, to lend.
*Lletiaith (llediaith) for accent, as when a man speaks English with a Welsh accent, and vice versa.
Taclau, harness.
*Pwtwr, lazy.
*Rhaca, a rake; rhaca-troi. to rake-turn the hay.
*Siwrna, a journey.
Shimla, a chimney.
Cyffylau gwaith, cart horses, as opposed to nag horses.
*Eifed, ripe; as, mae’r ‘falau yn eifed.
Danant, nettles. .
*Cered, to walk.
Rheteg, to run.
*Gryndo, to hear.
*Gwddwg, neck. In “Parochalia,” by Edward Lhwyd (II, 36), the waterfall in the parish of Llanfihangel Nant Melan, Radnorshire, called nowadays Water Break its Neck, is said to be “yn torri i gwddwf.” [Perhaps, however, the last letter f is a misreading for g.]
*Gwinedd, finger nails.
Rhetig, to plough, for aredig.
*Mwrthwl, a hammer.
Gweitho for Gweithio.
Clwyd
, a gate, clwyd dwy droed, a hurdle.
Ty cwrdd, a meeting house, signifying the nonconformist chapel as opposed to the church (eglwys).

Clawd for tlawd. An old saying of the parish of Goitre, which has a poor, hungry soil, is
Goitre glawd
Heb na bara na blawd.


dau two, pronounced dou.
Hicen, twenty (ugain).
Buwch, a cow; the plural is always gwartheg (cows);
da, cattle in general.
Cymdogion for cymdeithion.
Iaca for ia (ice).
Doti for dodi; doti coed, to plant trees.
Kind, for well or good, as mae’r coed bach yn tyfu yn gind.
Crefa, for cryfau, as mae’r moch bach yn crefa.
Beili, the fold or yard of a farm house. [Latin ballium]

The third person singular of the prefect tense is often ws instead of oedd , as fe wetws wrtho i (he told me).
Rhyng for rhwng.
Rhw for rhy , as mae’n rhw oer i fynd i maes.
Drys
for tros, as drys y bont.
Worlod for gweirglawdd, as worlod glan Toddi (the meadow by the side of the Trothy)

Ffwrwm, a bench. At Machen is an inn is Y ffwrwm ishta (eistedd), so called from an ancient bench outside the house.
Rit yr heol for ar hyd yr heol
Yn glau (prnounced gloy); as rhetwch yn glau (run quickly)

Anghommon for anghyffredin; as wy’ yn lico seidr yn anghommon (I like cider uncommonly). At the election of 1886 political arguments took place; an old man, a great Liberal, used to end the discussio by saying, “Wel, wel, wy’ yn lico Mr. Gladstone yn anghommon, with great stress on the penultimate syllable”.
Cascen, a cask or hogshead.
Cladde, mantelpiece; the gun was kept in a rack uwch y cladde.
cwtch (cysgu) , used only in English; a man orders his dog to go cwtsh in the cornel.
Crwtyn
, a boy; in English, the phrase is often used a crot of a boy, meaning a very little fellow.
Meillion, the Dutch clover; the common clover is called by the English name.
Gwas y neidr, dragon fly.

The bells of Welsh Newton Church are said to sing, Erfin, cawl erfin, the people being so poor that they had only turnips to eat.
Gwadd, mole; but in English the mole is always called locally an wnt.
Costrel, used in Welsh and English for the wooden bottle containing cider.

Some of the above words are used all over Wales; some are peculiar to Gwent, and some may be considered as mere Anglicisms, as may be expected in a district so near to the English border. It would appear to me that the Welsh in the life of St. David (“Cambro-British Saints,” p. 102) very nearly represents the Gwentian form of the language.

Tal-y-coed, Gwent.
JOSEPH A. BRADNEY

 
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