Ewin/ewinedd mutating to "fy ngwinedd"?

On page 12 of “Hi Oedd fy Ffrind” by Bethan GwenasI find “fy ngwinedd” in a context where it clearly means “my (finger)nails”.

However, fingernail is ewin / ewinedd (feminine).

I know “fy” causes nasal mutation, but I didn’t think “e” mutated, so what’s going on?

I notice that google translate and mymemory.translated recognise “fy ngwinedd” as “my nails”.

I looked up “fy” in GK’s Comprehensive Grammar, and he gives an example where a word beginning with “e” has “fy” replaced by “'yn” in speech: “'yn ewythr i” “my uncle”.
(He says “'yn” is normally used in place of “fy” in speech for non-mutating words).

The exampe of “fy ngwinedd” that I found was in the narration, and was not quoted speech, so it’s reasonable to see the “fy”, but why the nasal mutation of a word beginning with “e”?

My wild guess would be ewinedd got shortened from gewinedd which would trigger nasal mutation.

“Gwinedd” listed in GPC as dialect form, see “ewin”.

My guess would be ewinedd > winedd and then the “g” would “have” to appear. Just a complete guess though.

Whatever the derivation, though, it’s in the GPC.


Saying it over to myself - fy ngwinedd - sounds a lot smoother to say than - fy ewinedd…

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Guess i have some way to go, as without thinking about it i would have said ‘fy mewinedd’.

Cheers J.P. (still in the land of mistakes and not worrying about it).


I wondered if “gewin/gewinedd” was an alternative form, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.
(Thanks for the GPC reference @owainlurch . Forgot about that dictionary. Now bookmarked).

Just found this thread on Forum Wales which suggests that this form is often heard:


@Dinas Dw i’n cytuno efo chdi yn llwyr. Definitelyt more comfortable to say. But on the face of it it seemed ungrammatical in writing. However, not if “gewinedd” is an acceptable form (I guess).

Yup, this :sunny:

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Found a similar example in GK’s “Welsh Reader”, page 118:

“ngwynab” - “My face” - the standard word for “face” does not begin with g-: wyneb; but many areas use a variant gwyneb/gwynab, here with NM.

The text he is talking about is taken from “Un Nos Ola Leuad” by Caradog Pritchard, 1961

The Welsh in this piece therefore is a close representation of spoken N Welsh - with various spelling conventions that are not part of the standard written language, but instead reflect pronunciation.

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Probably of not much interest to a lot of people, but in case it is!-

I remember reading - I think in John Morris-Jones- that the ‘g’ appeared there as the “w” at the beginning tended to change in pronunciation from a vowel to a consonant.

It’s not just a consonantal “w” that a “g” can appear in front of though! Eg arddwrn/garddwrn.