Common spoken contractions/abbreviations/slang


Does anybody have a list of common spoken abbreviations? I’ve just finished reading Manon Steffon Ros’s Y Stelcwir and now and then there are obvious set phrases in the dialogue that are difficult to work out.

I already knew 'sti for ‘You know’, but I don’t really know where it comes from. And what about 'ta? and 'de?

So if anyone knows of a list of the most common ones – the slangy phrases which don’t turn up in dictionaries… – I’d be very grateful. Nothing obvious turns up with a web search unfortunately…

Many thanks!

'sti comes from gwyddost ti. 'ta and 'de both come from ynteu and mean then/in that case.
I can’t recall seeing a list of other common ones but I’ll have a think about it and check my books.


Thanks, @siaronjames – I don’t think I could have guessed 'ta and 'de from ynteu…

Thanks for your help!

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Another fairly common one I’ve just remembered about is 'lly which is from felly (so).

I haven’t been able to find anything with a comprehensive list of them, but you might find these two links handy (even though they don’t include the ones we’ve already mentioned, it might help in other situations)

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Siaron, that is so helpful – thank you very much! I really appreciate it.

I’ll follow those up now.

Many thanks again!

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Dw i newydd ddarllen dy tudalennau we, a, bois bach, mae tagiau yn anodd, tydyn? :grinning:

Very interesting – they will take a lot to absorb, but at least I’ll able to recognise a few more when I see/hear them. And now I know they’re called tags…

Thanks again, Siaron!


Just thought of another one - t’bo. This is also “you know”, from ti’n gwbod

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Diolch eto! That’s useful.

Since I asked the question, I listened to one of the bwtcamp vocab sessions and learnt “'na ni”, which isn’t the same sort of tag, but it still sounds useful.



That’s a fun coincidence - I asked about “na ni” recently!


A book entitled ‘Dweud eich Dweud’ by Ceri Jones I find invaluable. It describes itself as a guide to colloquial and Idiomatic Welsh. Published by Gomer. Whilst it does not list ‘sti’ it does describe 'ta & 'de. The book may well be out of print now but second hand versions may be available. It really is an excellent book.


Na ni ? Can you please tell me what it means, ive heard it a lot. Thanks

It’s abbreviated from dyna ni, and it means there we are.