At the Welsh conversation group I went to tonight we had a quiz, part of which involved matching Welsh names for places in England to their English equivalents. I knew quite a few of them, but some were new to me.
My favourite was Twmpyn y Glori (“Little Hillock / Knoll of Glory”), which is apparently what you call Dewsbury in Welsh. I haven’t yet discovered why. Twmpyn is a diminutive of twmp, which means hillock, knoll, mound, pile or lump.
Dewsbury is a town in West Yorkshire in the north of England. The English name is thought to come from the Welsh name Dewi, an equivalent of David, and the Old English word burh (fort). The name was recorded as Deusberie, Deusberia, Deusbereia or Deubire in the Doomsday Book of 1086. Perhaps a better Welsh name for it would be Caerddewi (Dewi’s fort).
Another interesting name that came up was Tre’r Ogof (“Town of the Cave”), which is the Welsh for Nottingham. Apparently an old Brythonic name for that area was Tig Guocobauc, (Place of Caves). The name Nottingham comes from Snotingaham – Snot’s people’s (inga) homestead (ham). Snot was a Saxon chieftain.