Welsh Names

It will be a great help when visiting and travelling around Wales for you to have a rudimentary grasp of Welsh place names. Understanding what the names mean will make this much easier and will also provide you some insight into the landscape around you.

Here is a brief sample of useful words.

Aber – estuary or mouth of river or confluence of two rivers
Afon – river
Allt – hillside or cliff
Argoed – wood
Arth – bear
Aur – gold
Bach – small
Banc – bank or slope
Blaen – high land
Bwlch – gap or pass
Caer – fort
Canol – centre or middle
Capel – chapel
Carreg – stone
Castell – castle
Cefn – ridge
Coch – red
Coed – trees
Cors – bog
Craig – rock
Croes – cross
Crugiau – heaps
Cwm – valley
Cwrt – court or yard
Derwen – oak
Dinas – hill-fort
Dryslwyn – bramble bush
Du – black
Dyffryn – valley
Eglwys – church
Fferm – farm
Ffordd – road
Fforest – forest
Ffynnon – spring or well
Glais – brook
Glas – green or blue
Glo – coal
Grug – heather
Gwaun – moor
Gwyn – white
Gwynt – wind
Hafod – summer dwelling
Haul – sun
Haulwen – star
Hir – long
Isaf – lowest
Llain – narrow strip of land
Llan – church
Llwyn – grove
Maerdy – dairy
Maes – field
Mawr – big
Melin – mill
Melyn – yellow
Mynydd – mountain
Nant – brook
Newydd – new
Ogof – cave
Onnen – ash tree
Pen – head or top
Pentre – homestead
Plas – hall
Poeth – hot
Pont – bridge
Porth – gateway
Pump – five
Pwll – pool
Rhaeadr – waterfall
Rhiw – hill
Rhos – moor
Sant – saint
Sarn – causeway
Sticil – stile
Stryd – street
Tafarn – tavern
Telyn – harp
Tir – land
Traeth – beach
Tref – hamlet
Uchaf – upper
Yn – in
Ysbyty – hospital
Ysgol – school

The Ordinance Survey website is a great source for many more.

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