Word of the day – pigan

Pigan, verb = to being to rain / to start raining

Etymology: pigan comes from pig, beak, spout, to interfere

Example of usage:
Mae hi’n pigan = Mae hi’n dechrau bwrw glaw = It’s starting to rain

Related word:
piglaw – heavy rain, drizzle

I came across this word the other day while searching for another word in my Welsh dictionary and it just appealed to me. I don’t think it’s a very common word as I’ve never heard it or seen it being used.

In Chinese you can express the same idea using the particle le:

下雨 (xiàyǔ) = it’s raining, 下雨了 (xiàyǔ le) it’s just started raining

Do other languages have words with the same or a similar meaning?

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

0 Responses to Word of the day – pigan

  1. PP says:

    Prší = It’s raining.
    Rozpršelo se = It just started raining.

  2. PP says:

    Just to note: there is nothing special about these words. Both are just regular inflections/derivations of verb “pršet”. (to rain) roz- can be used with many verbs to denote action which started and not yet finished, and the Czech gramar doesn’t require subject to be specified, so there is no need for dummy pronouns.

  3. TJ says:

    In Arabic:
    It’s raining: إنها تمطر [innahá tomTir]
    It just started raining: لقد بدأت بالإمطار للتو [laqad bada’at bil-imTár lil-taw]

    It just rained (and finished already): لقد أمطرت للتو [laqad amTarat lil-taw]

    Rain: مطر [maTar]

    in Arabic there are several names for “rain” according to its level and heaviness, but the main word in general is [maTar]. Most of these names are used right now in literature writings and not in newspapers language or the media, so it is sort of a classic style.

    “laqad” can be a conjugative word, or a word that is said to bring the attention first, or to state a fact. There is no direct equivalent for it in English. Anyway it can be removed from the above sentences, but in speech it might be somehow awkword to say them without this particular word!

  4. Nik says:

    What language is that? Welsh?

  5. TJ says:

    Yep it is!

  6. goofy says:

    Maybe this is from the Proto-Celtic expressive root *bekko-

  7. Welton says:

    In Esperanto, the verb which means “to start raining” is “ekpluvi.”

  8. ceri says:

    You might hear ‘mae’n pigan glaw’, but I don’t think it’s half as common as the phrase ‘mae’n pigo bwrw’.

  9. DA says:

    We have always used the Welsh expression “mae hi’n pigo’r glaw”, translated as “it’s picking rain” meaning that it is starting to rain. No doubt this expression is a corruption of “pigan” – I’m guilty of never having looked it up in the dictionary.