It's snowing! (and other weather in Welsh)

As predicted it’s started to snow. Lots of basic terms to describe the weather are things we learn pretty early on with a new language, but I’m aware that there are loads of weather related idioms, so…
It’s snowing - mae hi’n bwrw eira or (mae’n?)
how would we describe that it’s sticking - one dictionary says glynu or is this one for the idiom dictionary.
I can find snowflake, but what about blizzard, sleet etc. and are there any regional variations in weather description?

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And having looked in my dictionary of Welsh idioms I can only see
snowed in - cael ei chau (i mewn) gan eira
(and also snowed under with work which isn’t really even weather related!)
surely there must be more ways to talk about snow than that?

There was a discussion about this on Facebook a few days ago. Some people in the north east apparently say mae’n odi for it’s snowing and ôd for snow. Apparently Mae’n pluo (sp?), it’s feathering, is also used by a few people - from the Welsh description of a snowflake as a snow feather (pluen eira).

For blizzard I’ve seen the rather disappointing storm eira and the more dramatic lluwchwynt (drift-wind).


Oh, and sleet is eirlaw which won’t need any explanation!


That’s a good one - I’m also thinking of things like Its spitting to describe rain. I think I have some sort of romanticised vision of different areas having very localised variations for describing something like the weather, along the lines of how many different ways to say snow in Inuit languages, which I understand is a bit of an urban myth.

that’s definitely what we get around our valley.

The only Welsh meteorological idiom I can recall is “mae hi’n bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn” - it’s raining cats and dogs.


Some tafodiaith from the South West that I’ve digged up, but can’t vouch for and have never used them myself are:

Mae’n copri lan - which I think means something like it’s starting to build up/getting it a bit overcast or heavy.
Ffliwchan - bwrw eira
Mae’n towlu tan a trwsto - thunder and lightning (mellt a thrannau)

Mae’n copri lan sounds like something I might have heard before, but I’m waiting to hear some things like these in anger and then I might be tempted to knick them for myself.

QUESTION? - is there a Welsh equivalent for - it’s belting, bucketing or pouring down

Note: Just found this link:

(includes: glaw tinwyn Abertawe = heavy cold rain from a south-easterly direction persisting all day long, ‘the wettest rain out’ (“white tailed rain of Swansea”)


Pistyllo, pistyllio, pistyllu - gushing down.


mae’n tollti’r glaw (NW) mae’n arllwys y glaw (SW) so my dictionary says for pouring down

now thats my kind of idiom!

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There should be an idiom for snow coming straight down on Gower, but being caught by a strong wind and ending up falling on North Devon from a cloudless sky!

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that would have been quite an experience!

that’s a really useful list, diolch. I also really like on there ‘glaw tyfu’ and ‘glaw mai’. It’s those kind of expressions that have the feel of many many generations of people living closely with the land.

My favourite weather related term is “mae’n bwrw cyllyll a ffyrc” (it’s raining knives and forks). It makes me smile! :relaxed:


Just to say - to anyone stuck in snow drifts, blown by winds or otherwise in trouble with the current problems. You have our sympathy I’m sure, certainly mine!

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OK, I admit to being one of the few people who love driving in snow, very nostalgic. I enjoyed my usual daily journey from Swansea to Avonmouth and back and picked up some new weather-related words along the way on the matrix signs.

I didn’t learn to drive until I left London and lived on Gower full time. Cars in London were a pain. Parking was virtually impossible outside your own door in Victorian streets. So I commuted on Public Transport. I then had lessons and my kind istructor would drive to my place to oick me up and drop me near the shops in Abertawe or the other way around! Anyway, near the time for my test, a few flakes of snow fell on a lesson. I asked, “Tips for driving in snow in case it snows for my test?”. “Oh, they’ll cancel it!” came the reply. “But surely sometimes I’ll have to drive in snow?” I protested. “Will you?” said in a voice that meant, “No you won’t!”. Result, I never learned to drive on snow and still have never done so! This may be true of an awful lot of people! I early-retired in 1991, so anyone who has learned since then and maybe before as well!

I haven’t driven all that much on snow, but yesterday, late afternoon, I had to drive to pick up our daughter from the bus P&R some miles away, and the local roads were all pretty well covered, and everyone was driving gingerly (fortunately on very uncrowded roads). Early on in my journey, I noticed a white van almost losing it on a roundabout ahead of me. He recovered without damage, but it warned me that even not-too-bad-looking roads could be dangerous, and even taking care, I lost traction a couple of times, and slightly skidded at least once.

Of course, in countries or regions where you can depend on there being snow every winter, people routinely fit snow tyres. For most of the UK, I guess it simply isn’t worth it.

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I was all set to get a 4x4 when I moved to Yr Alban but my friends here rolled with :joy: :laughing: :face_with_hand_over_mouth: laughter and explained that we get hardly any snow on the West coast!

Having worked on a farm as a groom for many years, I have had the chance to drive all sorts of things through snow, which is tremendous fun. On fields, skidding about and promising yourself not to get stuck is hilarious, but having done that, I know how unpredictable it can be. It fills me with fear to take our three little ones down a tiny lane to school, because you can’t break, slow down or pass other vehicles as you normally would. I like giving in and having a snow day now.


Well worth noting a word recently devised by the Radio Cymru producer Dyl Mei - Pluffern as a Welsh version of Snowmageddon. It’s a simple cut-and-shut job on plu (snowflakes) and uffern (hell), and I’ve already seen it being used out in the wild. I’m really hoping it catches on!


I love it!! Spread it around! Snow hell is perfect! I shall tell learners’ groups on Facebook! Maybe we could get a real tutor on side @garethrking?
Edit . research shows that, as pluffern should really somehow mention eira, maybe eirmagedon is better?