Sgrammo for Scratch

Did anyone hear Cindy Williams singing Sosban Fach on Bore Cothi today.
I think that she is from Swansea and sang in the 60s, but Siaron or Rob will no doubt have some more to say about her.

Anyway, in this version sgrammo was used, and pronounced “sgrammowe” in place of crafu.
Is this a Glamorgan/Gwent word. I have never been able to find it in a dictionary but I know that scram is used in Gwent English (Wenglish) for scratch , Any thoughts?

Edit: I think other versions have sgrapu

The version I always heard and sung at Rugby games was ‘scrapo’ or 'scrappo ’ if you prefer! When not singing, if a cat’s claws impacted and hurt, we said, (in English!) “scrammed”! As in, “Ouch, she’s scrammed me!” Sospan fach is Llanelli’s anthem, Scram is Swansea for scratch! Hope this helps! Remember, I am 75, so change may have occurred.

1 Like

Cerys Matthews also uses sgrammo in her version on her album ‘Tir’. I just assumed it was an alternate word.


I’m from Llanelli. … always used scrammo!

1 Like

Fot this Cardi born in Ebbw Vale, it’s “scrammo” for me. :smile:

1 Like

Thanks, All. That’s good to know. One of those words that crosses the language divide.

My wife and daughter, both from Abertillery say scram. My granddaughter, born in Southampton hasn’t picked it up (yet!).

Well, I looked everywhere I could find and always, in Sosban fach , it is 'scrapo,. We always said ‘scram’ which I presumed was Swansea/Gower simply because it was all I could be sure of! In London its scratch! It seems our ‘scram’ was Welsh based after all, but, because of the song, I had presumed ‘scrapo’ to be derived from crafu by some route!

Presumably unrelated, but there is also the colloquial word “sgram” meaning “food” (or “grub”).
(I can’t get GPC to work for me at the moment, so can’t find out more about it easily, e.g. whether it’s regional or widespread. I know it’s used in the north).

Only when I read that, did I actually notice that this thread is headed ‘sgrammo’, not ‘scrammo’!! We definitely said ‘scram’ not ‘sgram’ for scratch!! I just Googled ‘Sgram for food’ and got a load of sites like ‘Fan Sgram/Food Van’. Most sites seem to be in the Ynys Mon area!

I did find some versions with sgrammo. The Cheris Matthews version, mentioned above is one of them. Also, the Cindy Williams sound track of Sosban Fach, which were both from internet searches.

Hendraig, are you also familiar with the English dialect word “scran” for food (usually a lunch pack), which I guess came from the Welsh Sgram. It is very common up north (England) but I’ve also heard it a fair bit in Swansea recently.

1 Like

no! sorry! ‘snap’ was what we called a packed lunch taken to work! Don’t know what it was in Yorkshire, never took food! Here in Scotland it’s referred to a a piece.

1 Like

English dialect word “scran” for food (usually a lunch pack)

In the North-East, I’ve heard “bate” or “bait” (never seen it written)
Edited to separate @JohnYoung 's quotation from my response - sorry for the confusion. :blush:

1 Like

Sorry, Cerys.

Also a scranner was/is? someone with a healthy appetite.

(Sorry John, I mixed your original quote with my response above. Huw)

No problem at all, Huw.
TBH I love these threads that move on seamlessly to the next thought.

I heard ‘scram’ for ‘scratch’ (in the sense of getting scratched by a cat/human/etc rather than scratching an itch) a lot while growing up in Pembrokeshire, too. I’d completely forgotten about it until I saw this thread just now!

1 Like

Yeah that’s a very Welsh word. I’ve seen it written in medical notes by a health visitor. I’d never heard it before living here.


Yes, she’s definitely from Swansea and big in the sixties, but well before my time as far as the Welsh-language pop scene goes (I was very little in the late sixties and only discovered the sin roc gymraeg at the end of the century :wink: )

The Sospan Fach I learnt used ‘scrapo’ but I’ve always known and used ‘scram’ as scratch in what I now realise is Wenglish.


Edit: Sori pawb - I’m confusing the first line with the last

I did perform SWosban Fach once in a Welsh shop in Annapolis, Md where they were holding a mini “Cymanfa Ganu” competition, which involved a little girl counting up to 10 in Welsh and another contestant singing a ballad about Welsh fishermen fishing in the North Sea (sic) and some others from the Welsh diaspora. My colleagues pushed me forward as a Welshman and I agreed to perform (and translate) the Scarlets Anthem but not as a contender. On boarding the flight home, next day, a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder, identifying himself as one of the competition judges. He told me that, if I hadn’t withdrawn from the competition, I would have won the prize of a Welsh blanket! Dammo! :laughing:


In which case, why not post a link to a soundcloud file with your rendition on it…? :slight_smile: