Welshisms: A Beginner’s Guide to the Welsh Language

DaffodilsHere 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.accommodation-sp

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:


Snuggling cats

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.


Yawning catIf 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.

Twty Down

Okay, so this is a hard one. To ‘twty down’ is to do a low squat so that your whole body is close to the ground – like this lovely lady is doing in the picture! You could ‘twty down’ to do up your shoe lace or to pick up something from a bottom cupboard.


dogs-569016_1280A dog is a man’s best butty

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.



This girl looks ‘tamping’, fuming, raging! You guessed it, ‘tamping’ is another word for mad or angry. We wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.


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.

Read more: What to do in Swansea When It’s Raining 



If a Welsh person exclaims “ychafi!” (pronounced UCK-A-VEE) then something is dirty, gross or disgusting. Let’s hope they’re not directing that comment at you!

Popdy ping

Microwaves(Image: Chris Waits under CC BY 2.0)

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.

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