To stroke

I am trying to translate “to stroke” as in to stroke a pet. I translated “I am going to stroke the white cat” as “dwi’n mynd i mwytho y gath wen” however Google translates this as “I am going to massage the white cat”. Not quite what I intended! I have found “strók” but this appears to be the medical condition. Also am I correct in saying “y gath wen” and not “y gath gwyn” ?
Many thanks. Andrew

You’re right with ‘y gath wen’ (although it wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise to hear people playing fast and loose with that) - and you’re also right with mwytho. You’ll often hear that as ‘rhoi mwytho i’…:smile:

Or ‘cael mwytho’, come to that - mae’r ci yn cael mwytho…

To pat, amazingly, is patio. I remembered that when I was sitting on the paved area out the back of our house :slight_smile:

tra’n patio Swt, heb os, Andy?

Please note for the avoidance of embarrassment that the joking “stick an IO” on the end conspicuously doesn’t work for cat smoothing.

Ironing cats (smwddio) is not, on the whole, advisable :wink:


I wonder if this mwytho term is something that I often heard growing up in Pontymoile. As kids we would say ‘don’t moyther us mam’ .I always thought it was a bastardization of mothering as in coddling, showing excessive affection( especially in front of your friends!)… Now perhaps a different interpretation?

I have always thought ‘moither’ was a brummie term, as in bother, pester and you can be moithered yourself, as in being in a tizzy, flustered, etc. But it’s only one letter away from ‘mothered’. Years ago, I heard a programme on Radio 4 that said it was used in the Welsh Marches with the same meaning.

Interesting! You’ve reminded me of a word my Manchester-born mother used when I was young and kept asking for something - “Stop maithering me!” or “Stop your maithering!” I’ve no idea how to spell it, but that’s what it sounded like.

Mither - to pester, irritate someone, especially used when speaking to children.

In common use in Brum and environs.



They say I rip off Johnny Rotten
They always strike for more pay.
They say “See yer mate…Yeh…see yer mate”
To their mothers they sing
Stop mithering

Mark E. Smith 1979

Edited to add: - I have no idea how authoritative this might be: It’s on the internetz.

With respect, mither looks and would sound very different. It clearly has different meaning also.

Moy…dder is what I was on about… Petting a dog would fit far more with the meaning and sound.
Sain siwr…diddorol iawn, ta beth.

Marcher dialect has presented problems for centuries! In both English and Gwenhwysig!

Many thanks to all! By the way should I have written “dwi’n mynd i fwytho y gath wen” and not
“dwi’n mynd i mwytho y gath wen” ?
One more question on the white and black thing. Am I right in thinking only the first colour agrees in gender and mutation. So should I say:
“Cath wen a du” and “Cath ddu a gwyn” ? This confuses me!
Thanks again

Andrew, you’re right with both your points, so you’re obviously not actually as confused as you feel…:wink:

But more importantly - these are very trivial issues, that will nine times out of ten not even be noticed in a conversation - so don’t let them hold you back from jumping in and talking to people as much as possible…:smile:

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A learned friend from Sir Gar told me the term for stroking the cat/dog in his ‘ardal’ is canmol y ci/gath. Yes, I know ‘canmol’ is usually to praise, but there we are.

In places up north, as kids we say “rhoi ‘o bach’ i’r ci/gath” - so a child would give an animal an ‘o bach’ and say it out loud as they were stroking in order to calm the animal further - like saying ‘there, there’ in English. The ‘o’ would translate as ‘oh’ in to English. So it’s like saying that you’re giving the animal a little ‘oh’.

That’s lovely! For some reason, it reminded me of my Greatgranny, patting my head and saying, ‘doy, doy’. It translates roughly as ‘dear’ I suppose but it’s one of those West Riding words whose sound carries more meaning than its literal sense. A bit like, ’ aye, well, mmm’ :slight_smile:

Interesting. “Doy” sounds like do’ i, so “come, come” in Welsh…


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I have just found this thread!!! And I want to ask @aran, if my cat was a tom cat, can I not say ‘cath gwyn’? Must I say gwr-cath gwyn? And what about my little toy poodle Toffi who is female? (She is apricot, not white, but I ask for general knowledge reasons!).
If I refer ci wen, would people catch on to the fact the she’s female or would I have to specify gast wen?

Um - I don’t have many conversations about cats, to be honest - in most cases, I would imagine that people wouldn’t particularly notice, or would think that you didn’t know it was meant to be ‘cath wen’. With the dog, ci wen would definitely sound wrong, and you’d need to use gast if you wanted people to be aware of the gender… :slight_smile:

Can you say “gast” in a doggy context and not sound slightly rude?
(I know it can also be used as an insult, just as in English).

I imagine proper doggy people don’t flinch from it among themselves, but in “mixed company” (as it were), I think people tend to refrain from using it in English.