Following a few outings in North Wales recently, I started to be interested in the meaning of the Welsh location names. I used the English-Welsh dictionary provided by the Cardiff School of Computer Science and was surprised to realise that most summit names actually carry a meaning. For example, "Rhyd Ddu", where we finished our Paddy Buckley Round attempt, means "black ford". Even more interesting, Pen Llithrig y Wrach near Capel Curig means "Slippery Peak of the Witch" :) . Next time the navigation should be easier when we'll know straight away that "allt", "bryn", "foel" and "moel" are hills, but a "bwlch" is a pass.

I'm also working on the prononciation, which requires a bit of knowledge for places like that:

Bwlch Cwm-trwsgl

(which might mean something like: "pass of the awkward cirque").

I've compiled a couple of interesting findings in the following table (selected mountain-related meanings only):

WelshEnglish
aber estuary, stream
allt hill
bach (fach) corner
betws oratory, chapel
bryn hill
bwlch pass, gap
capel chapel
carnedd cairn
cerrig stone
clogwyn cliff
coch(-ion) red
coed tree, wood
craig crag, rock
crib(-au) ridge
crwn (gron) round
cwm cirque
cyngor (cynghorion) advice
Dafydd David
dau (dwy) two
ddu black
drws door
dysgl platter
eilio second
elor bier
garn cairn
glas blue
WelshEnglish
gwyn (wen) white
hebog hawk, falcon
helgi hound
hydd stag
llan church, village
llew lion
llithrig slippery
llyn(-nau) lake
maen stone
march (meirch) horse
mawr (fawr) big, high
moel (foel) hill
mynydd mountain
ogof cave
pen top, peak
perfedd gut
rhyd ford
trum ridge
trwsgl awkward
uchaf highest
ugain twenty
wrach witch
ysgafell ledge
ysgafn stack
ysgol(-ion) ladder

Ultra translation