Word of the day – Crychydd
Today’s word, crychydd (‘krəx.ɨð) is one of the Welsh words for heron. Other words for heron include crëyr, crehyr and crŷr, which appear to be immitations of the sounds herons make. The Irish word for heron is similar – corr.
Whenever I go for a walk by the sea here in Bangor, I often see a heron or two, as well as various other kinds of birds. They are usually grey herons (crëyr glas), but I did see a white one the other day, or it might have been a white egret. I’d like to learn a bit about these birds and their names in Welsh (and English, if I don’t already know them). I’ll see if the Welsh language bookshop in town has a book on local birds the next time I’m there.
One of my Welsh dictionaries, Y Geiriadur Mawr, has a section on birds with their names in Welsh and English. Many of the names are translations of their English equivalents, e.g. aderyn du – blackbird, asgell goch – redwing, and gwylan benddu – black-headed gull. Other names are based on the sounds the birds make, their appearance, or their habits or habitats, e.g. wid-wid – rock pipit, gwidihŵ – owl, bronfraith (speckled breast) – song thrush, Harri-gwylch-dy-big (Harry wash your beak) – little grebe, aderyn yr eira (snow bird) – starling.