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.

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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”.