Hiraeth. A beautiful word in the English language!


Ah, ignorance! Such a wonderful thing.


I used “hiraeth” in English before I started learning Welsh. Along with “cwtch”, “hwyl”, “pwdi” and many, many other words derived from Welsh. Dialectical maybe, but certainly used as part of English round here! And the English round here is as valid as anywhere else!
Puts in context those claims that hardly any words in English come from Welsh!
As far as I can tell, checking on Google, the first site I saw did say it was from the Welsh, so fair enough in my book!

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Oi vey…

Given where you live, there’s at least grounds for an argument that you were just using Welsh in with your English - that it wasn’t, after all, before you’d started learning Welsh, just that you’d started learning some Welsh pretty much from the cradle… :sunny:

I suspect it would be impossible to draw any kind of clear line for when a word has shifted languages for communities where more than one language exists .

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I’m surprised you didn’t know it was Welsh! (Well, not when you were three, but later on!). Don’t you live somewhere that was disputed territory until recently? So speaking ‘Wenglish’ is quite natural!!!
That initial claim to it as ‘a beautiful word in the English language’ made my blood boil… but then I am an unreconstructed republican nationalist who has to be very careful not to get herself ejected from the Forum!!


Oy vey indeed.

That’s pretty much the exact point I was making, using some of those different word things.

Such words can be considered as either words from another language, or as naturalized dialect words. It depends on the speaker to a large extent. Neither one nor the other is ‘incorrect’. That is the point I was making. Sorry for the two answers, but for some reason this site is playing up on my phone.

The ‘oi vey’ was directed at the Buzzfeed article, by the way, which is why it was ahead of your quote, which I was answering separately. Sorry if that wasn’t clear… :sunny:

I did take that in a way that wasn’t intended, so my apologies as well! (and thanks for explanation!)

So yes, agree with you 100% on what you said there, anyway.

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Oh, I did know it was Welsh, but this doesn’t mean it wasn’t also English!
An English word, used habitually enough by Welsh speakers becomes a good Welsh word. The reverse is also true! As Aryan says, where you draw the line can be difficult And is certainly a matter of opinion.

Such things - the depiction of Welsh culture, history and language- can be tied on with nationalism, but in this case, as I say, it can be argued that depecting the Welsh language as so closely entwined in the culture if the area that it deeply affects the English language round here stresses the importance and strength of Welsh. Especially as the influence of Welsh on English is often underplayed.

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I did indeed have blonde hair as a child… :sunny:


New phone, lack of the fingers of a pixie and untrained predictive text!

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I was thinking that perhaps “hiraeth” is one of possibly a fair number of Welsh words that most Welsh people will know, even if they are not really Welsh speakers.

I was then trying to think of words that non-Welsh British people outside Wales might know. My wife suggested “eisteddfod” (although she added that they probably will spell it incorrectly…(I have surreptitiously checked my own spelling here…)).

No more come to mind at the moment although probably anyone who spends any time in Wales will probably manage to pick up “bore da” and “diolch” before too long, and a few things like that.

Owain has already mentioned ‘cwtch’. In my part of Powys I’d also add both ‘nain’ and ‘mam-gu’ (I’ve never heard non-Welsh speakers use ‘taid’ or ‘tad-cu’, oddly). There’s also a whole (albeit somewhat thin) book to be written about Welsh agricultural terms fossilised in the English of Radnorshire farmers.

The official English plural of eisteddfod, by the way, is eisteddfods - a word that makes my ears hurt.


I have to admit that this always worries me. How long will yr hen iaith last if it picks up more and more sais?
I also wonder if the English realise the origins of marriage, beef, mutton and all the other Norman French; gymkhana, jodhpurs and the other words from India and Pakistan and all the rest from everywhere else! Are there really any English words???
ps. What was that about being blond @aran?
pps Oh I agree about ‘Eisteddfods’… I could hardly make myself type it!!

But English seems to be lasting OK. You can’t really have it both ways, can you? :wink:

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mmmm…thinks :thought_balloon: Isn’t American taking over??? And isn’t ‘English’ now a polylot mix rather than ‘a language’?

I know loads of people who p use “So and so’s in a right pwd” or “So and so’s having a pwdu” for “So and so’s sulking” without having the first clue it’s from Welsh


untrained predictive text

Ah, you were trying to say Oie vie! ¨Good night¨ … didn´t know you spoke Manx :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I was then trying to think of words that non-Welsh British people outside Wales might know.

Top of the list these days must be ARAF :slight_smile:

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