Welshisms: A Beginner’s Guide to the Welsh Language

Here at the Dragon Hotel, it won’t surprise you that we’re proud to be a quintessentially Welsh hotel.


But when you come to stay here, you’ll be happy to know that we don’t insist on communicating in our beloved lingo. Nor when you’re shopping in Swansea market will you have to learn what the Welsh for pasty is (for what it’s worth, it’s called a pastai.)

However, if you want to speak a little of the local dialect when you stay, we won’t stop you! Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to some common Welshisms:


Voted as Wales’ favourite word, you’ll be hard pressed to visit Swansea or South Wales without heading the cutesy term cwtch.

The Welsh word for a cuddle or a snuggle, cwtch (pronounced COOTCH) can be found adorned on many lovely accessories in Swansea’s gift shops. You never know, if you’re lucky you might get propositioned for a cwtch in the middle of wind street if a local takes a shine to you.


If a local remarks to you that you’re being a little ‘chopsy’, then it might be worth shutting your mouth and doing a little listening. Chopsy means that you’re a talkative person with the gift of the gab…and not always in a good way!


Similarly, if someone calls you twp (pronounced TUP) then they think you’re stupid, daft and maybe a little dull. We’re sure they won’t, cos the Welsh are a friendly bunch.


To most of the UK, a butty is a sandwich. Not in Swansea, where a butty is a good friend. Remember, whatever you do in South Wales, don’t ask to eat a butty – locals will start looking at you funny.


Usually used by naughty school kids, mitchin’ is the name given to the age-old act of playing truant. When you stay here, we’re sure that you won’t want to be mitchin’ away from the Dragon Hotel.

Bwrw glaw

Unfortunately, when you visit South Wales there’s a high chance that you’ll get a bit of bwrw glaw (pronounced boo-roo GLOW) falling from the sky. Yes, that’s right, you might well come across some Welsh rain in Swansea.

Happily, bwrw glaw is a very satisfying phrase to say and somehow manages to encapsulate the dreariness of a rainy day and the comfort to be found in staying indoors in the warm.

Popdy ping

Chances are, you won’t be wanting to use one of these during your stay to South Wales, but there’s no doubt that the Welsh word for microwave (pronounced Pop-ed-ee PING) is one of the most pleasing words in the whole of the taff lexicon.

Want an authentic, accessible base from which to explore Swansea and South Wales? Get exclusive online rates when you book your stay to the Dragon Hotel today.

(Images: Photophob,  Sam Webster)