Rîli cwtshy

I heard the expression rîli cwtchy [ri:lɪ kʊtʃɪ] on Radio Cymru this morning when they were talking about pyjamas. It’s on interesting example of Wenglish (Welsh and English mixed together) with cwtch = a cubby-hole; a hug or cuddle; to hug or cuddle, made into an adjective meaning ‘comfy’ by adding the English adjectival ending -y, and intensified with the rîli (really).

A more standard way of expressing the same concept is cyffyrddus / cysurus iawn.

This entry was posted in English, Language, Welsh.

6 Responses to Rîli cwtshy

  1. Christopher Miller says:

    This sounds like a Welsh folk etymology of “really cushy” in English. “Cushy”, of course, comes from Persian خوش [χuʃ] via Hindustani [kʰuʃ].

  2. Lau says:

    Reminds me of the Finnish expression “ota iisisti” (take it easy).
    ota = take
    iisi = the English word easy spelled according to the Finnish orthography.
    -sti = adverbial suffix

  3. Yenlit says:

    Sounds rîli South Walian?!

  4. Macsen says:

    Of course Simon, the correct spelling for this ‘incorrect’ patois / koine / ‘bratiaith’ is ‘cwtchi’ with an ‘i’ at the end – not the English ‘y’! ;-0

    But the circumflex on the first ‘i’ in rîli’ works well in highlighting that it’s a long ‘i’ sound.

    Fi rîli yn lyfio geiriau cŵl fel hyn! (I really love cool words like this) … should I laugh or cry when I hear these kinds of sentences … what do other language speakers think?

  5. Christopher Miller says:

    This ‘rîli’ reminds me of the way ‘foule/full’ is used in Canadian French, especially among younger speakers, with the same kind of meaning.

  6. Kevin says:

    “Cwtsh” (-tsh not -tch, by the way) has nothing to do with “cushy”, Chris.

    As far as I understand it, the word (with its spectrum of cuddly-snuggly-hidey-hole meanings) is a blend of 1. Anglo-Norman “couche” [kutʃ] and 2. “cwt” — prob. from Old English / Old French / ultimately Old Norse “cot(e)/kot” — meaning “hut”.

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