Helfa trysor (treasure hunt)

We went on a treasure hunt this morning. We were supposed to go yesterday afternoon, but it was raining (surprise, surprise!). Fortunately the sun came out today, at least for a while. I saw bits of Lampeter I hadn’t seen before and learnt a bit about its history. The treasure was some chocolates, which we all shared.

In class this afternoon we played a number of Welsh games, including Gêm yr Eisteddfod and trilingual (Welsh/Breton/Irish) dominoes. The dominoes had pictures of animals on them with their names in the three languages. Some of the names that really caught my eye were gwas y neidr (lit. “snake’s servant”) – dragonfly, glöyn byw (lit. “living coal”) – butterfly, and bilidowcar – cormorant.

Another word for dragonfly is gwachell y neidr (“snake’s knitting-needle”), and there are many words in Welsh for butterfly, including iâr fach yr haf (“little summer hen”), pili-pala and bili-bala. Other words for cormorant are morfran (“sea crow”), mulfran (“sad mule crow”), llanciau Llandudno (“bachelors of Llandudno”) and wil wal waliog.

This entry was posted in Language, Welsh, Words and phrases.

2 Responses to Helfa trysor (treasure hunt)

  1. Rhys says:

    ‘Mul’ is donkey or mule

  2. Rurality says:

    It’s interesting how dragonflies tend to have so many alternate names. Here in the south (US) I’ve heard them called “snake doctors” a lot. Also “mosquito hawks”.

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