Appendix: Glossary

Pages 456-458

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section



Ab, Ap, i. e., Mab, a son.

Abad, an abbot.

Aber, the fall of a less water into a greater; as, of a brook into a river, of a river into a lake or sea: the mouth of a river, a haven, a port, or harbour.

Ach, for Merch, a daughter.

Ach, water (obsolete).

Ach, for Uch, or Uwch, upper; above.

Adyn, a miserable person, a poor wretch.

Ael, the eye-brow; also the edge of a place; as, Aely-Bryn, the brow of a hill.

Aëron, the splendid one; the queen of brightness; from Air, brightness, according to Mr. Owen.

Allaw, properly Alaw, from Al, chief or principal, and Aw, water; the Water Lily; perhaps so called from its being the chief ornament of the water.

Am, by, about.

Aml, many, numerous.

Annerch, a salutation, or greeting.

Ar, upon.

Arth, a he or she bear.

Aur, gold.

Bâch, little, small; also, a hook, a crook, a tenter.

Bann, high, lofty, tall.

Bardd, a bard.

Bedw, birch-trees: singular, Bedwen.

Bettws, a station, a place of moderate temperature between hill and vale. Some persons say, that every Bettws appertained to a monastery, and that it is derived from the Latin word Abbatis.

Beudy, a cow-house.

Blaen (plural, Blaenau) the end or extremity of a thing, the top, the source of a river: it is also often used for the recesses in mountains, where the valleys terminate: likewise the highland of a country; thus, the mountainous districts of Gwentland is called Blaen-au Gwent.

Bôd, an abode, dwelling, habitation.

Bre, a hill, promontory, or peak.

Brêch, a spot, spotted.

Brith, of divers colours; spotted.

Briw, a wound, a bruise; also, broken, rough.

Bro, a country, a vale, cultivated land.

Bron, the breast, the slope of a hill.

Bryn, a mount, or hill.

Bu, a cow, an ox, cattle.

Bugail, a shepherd or herdsman.

Bychan, little: feminine, Bechan, and, if following a vowel, Fechan.

Byddar, deaf.

Byddin, a band or troop, an army.

Bŷrr, probably Pŷr, the plural of Pôr, a now obsolete name for a lord.

Cadarn, strong, powerful.

Câd Nant, the stream, or the glen of the battle.

Cae, a hedge, field, inclosure.

Caer, a city, fortification, camp, inclosure, wall, or mound of defence.

Caeth, a slave, captive, bondman; also as an adjective, strait, narrow, bound, captive.

Cain, white, fair, beautiful.

Canol, the middle.

Cantref, a hundred of a shire; a district consisting originally of a hundred dwellings; from Cant, a hundred, and Trêf, a habitation.

Capel, or Cappel, a chapel.

Carn, a heap of stones; intended in the heathen times as a memorial of the dead: in South Wales, plural Carnau, and in North Wales, Carneddau.

Carog, a brook.

Carreg, a stone: plural, Cerrig.

Carw, a hart, or stag.

Cefn, the back, a promontory, a ridge of a mountain.

Cell, a cell; also a grove.

Celli, a grove, a wood, a coppice of hazel-trees.

Cenn, the skin, the hide of a beast; also the scales of a fish, or serpent.

Cennin, a leek.

Ci, a dog.

Cîl, a retreat; plural, Ciliau, recesses.

Clâs, the cloister of a church.

Clawdd, a trench, bank, fence.

Clegyrog, rocky, or rugged.

Clôchog, sounding.

Clydogau, sheltered places.

Côch, red.

Coed, a wood.

Collwyn, a grove, or coppice of hazel-trees.

Côr, a choir.

Cors, a marsh, a bog.

Craig, a rock.

Crannel, properly Grannell, the name of a river; from Gran, shelving or precipitous

Cregrina, properly Cruginfa, from Crugyn, a small knoll, and Fa, a place.

Croes, or Crwys, a cross.

Crûg, a mount, a barrow, a heap of stones and of earth; and, very often, a fortified mount, such as British encampments; hence Crûg Hywel, in the county of Brecknock.

Cû, lovely or pleasant.

Cwm, a dale, or valley, anglicé, coombe.

Cŷd, with; together with; a junction.

Cylch, a circle, or, applied to a place, a circuit. Cylch Ynad signifies, the judge of a circuit. In the Welsh laws it means a yearly custom of provisions, or other things paid to the king's officers by those who held lands under him; in the Extent of Anglesey the terms Cylch Rhaglawn and Cylch Rhaglawd occur, which seemingly implied a court leet.

Cymmer, the meeting of two or more rivers, the confluence of rivers.

Dê, for Dehau, the south.

Dau, two.

Dihewid, the will, affection, devotion.

Dinas, a city, a fortified hill or mount: the most ancient British fortifications are called Din or Dinas; thus, Dinas Emrys, in the county of Carnarvon, and many others.

Dir, certain, sure; and, in composition, vehemently.

Discoed, properly Is Coed, beneath the wood.

Diserth, a desert.

Dû, black, dark.

Dwfr, or Dŵr, water; plural, Dyfroedd.

Dyffryn, i. e., Dyfr Hynt, the course of the waters.

Dylwyf, fire-wood, fuel: in allusion to water, it may be a corruption of Dylif, an overflowing or flood.

Eglwys, a church.

Ener, native, natural.

Erch, a dun or dark colour, horrible, terrible.

Esgob, a bishop.

Fâ, at the end of the name of a hill or mountain, or of any other word, the same as Fan or Man, a place.

Fair, for Mair, Mary.

Felfrey, probably a corruption of Foel-Fre, or FoelFron, the bald or naked hill: a hill in the county of Monmouth is called Mil-fre, which has the same meaning.

Fendigaid, for Bendigaid, blessed.

Ffîn, a boundary, a limit.

Ffordd, a way, a passage.

Ffrangc, an aviary; also a Frenchman, or Gaul.

Ffynnon, a fountain, or spring; a well.

Figen or Fign, i. e., Migen or Mign, mire, a mossy mountain, a bog.

Fro, i. e., Bro (which see).

Gallt, the side of a hill, or any steep ascent; a woody cliff.

Garth, a mountain or hill, a promontory or cape.

Gâst, a bitch.

Genau, the mouth, a pass between hills.

Glàn, the bank of a river, sea-shore; also a hill.

Glâs, blue, grey; also green, verdant.

Glyn, a glen, a valley.

Gôf, a smith.

Gogo, i. e., Gweddio, to pray.

Graban, in South Wales signifies the corn marigold; also a vineyard, according to Mr. Owen.

Grwyney, i. e., Grŵn Wy, the hoarsely murmuring water.

Gusse, probably a corruption of Cwysau, furrows.

Gwaelod, a bottom: plural, Gwaelodion; dregs or lees.

Gwald, a hem, a skirt, a border.

Gwâr, mild, gentle.

Gwartheg, cows.

Gwastadedd, a plain.

Gwili, the name of a river in the county of Carmarthen; from Gwill, swift.

Gwrth, against, opposite, by, or close to.

Gwŷdd, underwood.

Gwyn, white, fair, clear: feminine, Gwen.

Gwyryddon, chaste persons; plural of Gwyrydd, chastity.

Gyll, i. e., Cyll, the plural of Collen, a hazel-tree.

Hâfod, a summer dwelling; from Hâf, summer, and Bôd, a dwelling.

Helygen, a willow or sallow tree.

Hên, old, ancient.

Hîr, long.

Hynt, a journey, a way, a course.

Ieuan, or Evan, John.

Is, lower, inferior, nether.

Isâf, lowest.

Le, or Lle, a place.

Llan, a church, an inclosure.

Llannerch, a glade.

Llawr, the ground, the floor of a building, the earth.

Llêch, a slate, any broad flat stone.

Llechwedd, the side of a hill, a steep ascent or descent, a cliff.

Lleng, a legion.

Llethyr, a steep ascent or descent, a cliff, the side of a hill.

Llwyd, grey, hoary, brown.

Llwydog, of a grey colour.

Llwyn, a wood, or grove.

Llyn, a lake, a pool.

Llŷr, the sea, water.

Llŷs, a palace, a hall or court wherein judges sit.

Mâb, a child, a boy, a son.

Madoc, or Madog, good, righteous.

Maen, a stone.

Maenor, a manor.

Maes, a field.

Mair, Mary.

Mall, bad, rotten, quaggy.

Manachlog, a monastery or abbey.

Mawr, great, large.

Mêdd, mead.

Mêl, honey.

Melin, a mill.

Merthyr, a martyr.

Moel, bald, crop-eared, wanting horns; also a lofty hill without any wood growing upon it.

Mond, i. e., Monad, an isolated situation.

Mynach, Monach, or Manach, a monk.

Mynydd, a mountain.

Mynys, probably Am Ynys, about the rising ground.

Nant, a brook, a river; a ravine, glen, or hollow formed by water.

Nawdd, refuge, sanctuary.

Newydd, new, fresh.

Ôd, snow.

Onnen, an ash-tree: plural Onn, and Ynn, ash-trees.

Or, a border, the edge, the coast.

Pâb, the pope.

Pant, a hollow or sinking in the ground, a valley.

Pawl, a pole, a pale, a stake; also the proper name, Paul.

Pebyll, tents, pavilions; the plural from Pabell.

Pen, a head, the summit, a cape or promontory.

Penbedw, the head of the birch grove; from Pen, a head, and Bedwen, a birch-tree: plural, Bedw, birch-trees.

Penial, capital, chief.

Pentre, a village.

Plwyf, people, the common people anciently; but it now signifies a parish.

Pont, a bridge.

Porth, a gate, a door, a haven; also, aid, succour, assistance.

Prŷsg, a copse, an underwood.

Pump-Saint, five saints.

Pwll, a pool, a ditch, a pit.

Rhaiadr, a cataract.

Rhiain, a maiden, a virgin.

Rhiw, an ascent, the side of a hill.

Rhodwydd, an open course.

Rhôs, a mountain meadow, a moist large plain, a marsh.

Rhûdd, red, ruddy.

Rhŷd, a ford.

Rhŷdd, free, at liberty: Bôd Rhŷdd, the freehold.

Rhŷn, a mountain, hill, or promontory: in the plural, Rhynion.

Sarn, a causeway, a pavement.

'Spyddyd, i. e., Ysbyddad, hospitality.

'Steni, probably a corruption of Ystany; from Ystan, spreading, and Wy, water.

Swydd, a lordship, an office, service with respect to tenure, a jurisdiction, a shire.

Tàl, the head, the front.

Tàl Sarn, the head or front of the causeway.

Tarren, a rock.

Telyn, a harp.

Tîr, the earth, land, territory.

Traws, across, cross-wise.

Trêf, and Tre, a house or home, a township, a village.

Troed, a foot, the foot of a hill.

Tŵr, a tower.

Tŷ, a house.

Uch, Uwch, upper, higher, above.

Uchâf, Uwchaf, highest, supreme.

Uchel, lofty.

Waun, i. e., Gwaun, a meadow, downs.

Wedd, i. e., Gwedd, an aspect.

Wen, i. e., Gwen, white, fair, clear; the feminine of Gwyn.

Wern, i. e., Gwern, alder-trees; also a moist situation: singular, Gwernen, an alder-tree.

Wrach, i. e., Gwrach, an old woman, a hag.

Wrth, i. e., Gwrth, by, near to.

Wrtyd, properly Wrth y Rhŷd, opposite, or near to, the ford.

Wy, an ancient but now obsolete word, signifying water.

Wŷch, i. e., Gwŷch, cheerful, neat, brave.

Wyl, a flow, or gushing out.

Wyllt, i. e., Gwyllt, wild, untamed, savage.

Y, of, or, on the; the.

Ych, i. e., Uwch, upper, higher, above.

Ych, an ox.

Yfed, to drink; moist, damp.

Ym, in, or by.

Yn, in, at.

Ynys, an island, rising ground.

Yr, the.

Ys, below.

Ysceifiog, the hunting-ground.

Ysgwyd, a shield, a buckler.

Ysgwydd, a shoulder.

Yspytty, an hospital, an almshouse.

Ystrad, a vale, a street, or paved way.

Ystum, a situation, figure, a bending.

Ywen, a yew-tree: plural, Yw.



  • 1. The words in this list are entirely Welsh; the alterations noticed in the Preface as having been made in the body of the Work, not having, of course, been attempted here.