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The Welsh Language> Meaning of Place-names

The Meanings of Welsh Place-names

Beth Mae Enwau Cymraeg Llefydd yn Feddwl

Welsh place-names are very descriptive as the language has not changed significantly for centuries. Whereas in England many places have Viking or Anglo-Saxon names which use words that are not in use in the English Language today. Therefore with a knowledge of modern Welsh you can often guess the location of a village, or the character of a mountain from its name. Here are some local place-names and their meanings:

Mae enwau llefydd yn Gymraeg yn ddisgrifiadol iawn am nid yw'r iaith wedi newid llawer ers canrifoedd. Ond yn Lloegr mae gan lawer o lefydd enwau 'Viking' neu rhai yn dod o'r hen Saesneg ac mae rhain yn defnyddio geiriau sydd ddim yn cael eu defnyddio yn yr iaith Saesneg heddiw. Felly hefo gwybodaeth o'r Gymraeg fodern gallwch ddyfalu yn aml lle mae pentref wedi ei leoli, neu cymeriad mynydd, oddi wrth yr enw. Dyma rhai o enwau llefydd lleol, ac beth maent yn feddwl:


Towns and Villages    Trefi a Phentrefi

Betws-y-Coed  click to hear word Prayer house (Betws) in the woods (Coed)
Capel Curig  click to hear word The chapel of St. Curig
Capel Garmon  click to hear word The chapel of Garmon
Cerrigydrudion  click to hear word Stones (Cerrig) of the druids (derwydd=druid)
Dolwyddelan  click to hear word Meadow (Dôl) of Gwyddelan     [Gwyddelan was a Celtic missionary from Ireland]
Llangernyw  click to hear word Church of St. Cernyw [see below for more accurate description]
Llanrwst  click to hear word Church of St. Crwst [see below for more accurate description]
Penmachno  click to hear word Head (Pen) of the Machno valley
Pentrefoelas  click to hear word Village (Pentre) of the green (glas) bare summit (foel)
Trefriw  click to hear word Homestead (Tref) on the hillside (rhiw)
Ysbyty Ifan  click to hear word The hospice (Ysbyty)of John (Ifan)

What exactly is a Llan?
There are over 430 places in Wales that start with 'Llan'. A 'Llan' was a piece of land enclosed by a wooden fence within which would be a church and a group of Christians. Each 'Llan' was established around the 6th century by a Celtic saint after whom the site was named.


Mountains    Mynyddoedd

Carnedd Llewelyn  click to hear word The cairn (Carnedd) of Llewelyn
Clogwyn Cyrau  click to hear word Crag (Clogwyn) on the outskirts (Cyrau)
Crib Goch  click to hear word The red (Goch) ridge (Crib)
Y Garn  click to hear word The cairn
Yr Wyddfa  click to hear word (Snowdon) The grave (above ground) - tumulus


Places to Stay    Llefydd i Aros

Argoed  click to hear word Next to the trees (coed)
Bodnant  click to hear word Dwelling (bod) by the stream (nant)
Bron Derw  click to hear word Brow of the hill (Bron) by the oaks (Derw)
Bryn Tirion  click to hear word Pleasant (Tirion) hill (Bryn)
Coed Ceirw   click to hear word Woods (Coed) of the deer (Ceirw)
Dolgam  click to hear word Crooked (cam) meadow (Dôl)
Dol Llech  click to hear word Meadow (Dôl) of the slate (Llech)
Glandwr  click to hear word Water (dwr) side (glan)
Gwern Gof Isaf  click to hear word Bog (Gwern) of the blacksmith (Gof) - lower (Isaf)
Gwern Gof Uchaf  click to hear word Bog (Gwern) of the blacksmith (Gof) - upper (Uchaf)
Hendre Wen  click to hear word White (Wen) winter dwelling (Hendre)
Llannerch Goch  click to hear word Red(Goch) clearing (Llannerch)
Llwyn Gornonwy  click to hear word Goronwy's thicket (Llwyn)
Llys y Wennol  click to hear word Court (Llys)of the swallow (Wennol)
Maes-y-Garnedd  click to hear word Field(Maes) of the burial chamber (Garnedd)
Nant y Glyn Isaf  click to hear word Stream (Nant) in the glen (Glyn) - lower (Isaf)
Pen-y-Bryn  click to hear word Top (Pen) of the hill (Bryn)
Rynys  click to hear word The (Yr) island (Ynys)
Tan yr Eglwys  click to hear word Below (Tan) the church (Eglwys)
Tan y Graig  click to hear word Below (Tan) the rock (Graig)
Trem Machno  click to hear word View (Trem) of Machno
Tyddyn Du  click to hear word Black (Du) smallholding (Tyddyn)
Tyn Bwlch  click to hear word House (Ty) in the gap (Bwlch)
Wern Bach  click to hear word Small (Bach) grove of alder trees (Wern)


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