London Underground Map - in Welsh!


I’m a life-long London Underground enthusiast. This is ANHYGOEL and BENDIGEDIG (unbelievable and fantastic)! Thanks so much.

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I saw it a while ago when it was first published online, but it’s lovely to see it again. I do like the way they have looked to the root of the name, for example Arglawdd/Embankment, though sometimes it’s just a case of spelling it in Welsh, like Fictoria and Pumlico.


This is so wrong, though:


Can you explain? The Cysgair dictionary gives Arlais as meaning Temple, and I’ve checked on a normal tube map and that station is Temple.

Arlais is a part of the human head. Temple in London is named after the religious building, which in Welsh is Teml.

We have a similar misunderstanding where I live. In the centre of what is now Llandrindod (but was once open common) was a bridge on the main road from Builth to Newtown, Pont-ar-lais - the bridge on the stream. When the town started to get built to exploit the fashion for taking the water of the wells, the main road was named after the bridge, but it was mistranslated from Pont Arlais. So it became Temple Street. Further on from this in the late 19th century, on the gardens in the centre of the town, adjacent to the road, the town council decided to erect a fake stone circle as a tourist attraction and pretend that it was an ancient druidic temple - the one supposedly referred to in the road name. The majority of people in the town still believe this completely made-up derivation to this day!


Ah! All is clear now. Yes, I have seen Teml before for the religious Temple but wasn’t aware of the word for the part of the head. I didn’t think of that confusion. I’m surprised they made that mistake though because supposedly they had looked into the roots of words.


To be fair, the guy who produced this is a learner and is doing this as part of his Welsh learning journey. I emailed him last week to see if he’d considered merchandise (it would make a great tea towel!) but haven’t heard back yet. Mind you, in light of your “temple” post, it would need proofreading!

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He will absolutely not be the first or last person that has looked in the dictionary, seen two choices, gone for the more Welsh-looking entry for reasons of supposed authenticity and made a mistake as a consequence. I’ve done it. It’s all part of the journey.


I def feel the learner chap who’s done this would want to know!

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