Small observations, discoveries and thoughts

I don’t think there is a thread like this already (analogous to the continuing questions thread without a question), but I keep wanting to post this sort of thing that don’t really warrant an entire thread of their own.

I just read that cyfarfod (meeting) comes from a word meaning battle, which feels wonderfully appropriate.


I just read that cyfarfod (meeting) comes from a word meaning battle , which feels wonderfully appropriate.

That is brilliant! I’m going to be remembering that in work today…


Oh, and it gets better! The Wiktionary entry you linked to suggests the etymology cyf - arf - od.

So cyf- = together, arf = weapon and -od = a blow or a stroke (which is how we get dyrnod, meaning punch, from dwrn (fist) + od).

Striking with weapons together = battle. Brilliant!

(And my weapons of choice today are Teams and Zoom…)


Wonderful. I was inspired to look for cwrdd and found
“Clipping of cyhwrdd (“to meet; meeting”), itself from cy- (“together, co-”) +‎ hwrdd (“push, blow”).”
So it’s pretty much the same.


I think looking up the etymologies of words as you learn them is a very good way to remember them better as you often find interesting things about them that make them stick. For example, until I came across the words awdur and awdurdod I had never thought about the link between author and authority (even if they are so similar, they are so common that I’d never stop and think about them) - same for student (dysgibl) and (a) discipline.

One of my favourite finds so far is the fact that a (football) league cynghrair seems to come from swearing before relics :heart_eyes_cat:


I think there isn’t already a thread for these types of insights, consider creating one where users can share interesting language facts and etymologies that don’t require a full discussion thread.

There is this one: Connections with other languages
… but it might be time for a new one.

Isn’t that exactly what I did here?

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Here’s one: GPC have just updated the entry for bugail ‘shepherd, herdsman’, which the etymology says is related to Greek βουκόλος boukolos. It’s just dawned on me that that must be the ultimate source of English ‘bucolic’ - so bugail ≈ bucolic :slight_smile: