Gair y Diwrnod - Word of the Day


Word of the Day 25/09/2018

Melin = mel-inn
Melinau = mel-inn-aye
Melino = mel-inn-no (no as in not)

Melin means mill
Melinau means mills
Melino means to mill

Melin bupr - pepper mill
Melin wlân - woollen mill
Melin flawd - flour mill
Melin ddŵr - water mill
Melin bapur - paper mill
Melin wynt - windmill
Melin gletu - tannery
Melin gnau - nutcracker
Melin goffi - coffee grinder
Melin afalau - cider mill
Melin gotwm - cotton mill

Sound file -


This is a really useful thread. I have a copy of ‘Welsh Roots and Branches’ which does the same sort of thing -grouping words together e.g. meddyg - doctor; meddyg teulu - family doctor; llawfeddyg - surgeon; crachfeddyg - quack doctor; milfeddyg - vet; meddygaeth - medicine; etc. I got it in a second hand bookshop and find it a good way to increase my vocabulary, but Catrin’s thread tells me how to say the words, which is even better.Thanks @catrinlliarjones


This really takes me back to my childhood in the nineteen-forties and helping my mother in the kitchen. When she was making a cake it would be my job to sieve the flour. I don’t know why the flour needed sieving – perhaps because the house, with no central heating, was rather damp and the flour tended to have lumps in it. This was done with an old-fashioned sieve, about the size and shape of a small drum, with a round wooden frame and wire mesh, and you got the flour through the mesh with vigorous shaking, sometimes aided by a small thumb. But she also had what she called a sifter, which was about the size of a jamjar with a perforated lid and contained icing sugar for sprinkling on the top of a sponge after she had made it. These were quite different from a colander, which she also called a strainer. Then there was a sieve in the garden shed for sieving soil, which could also be called a riddle; I don’t think one would have used ‘riddle’ for a kitchen sieve.


That seems like an excellent book to own, but not for $150 US dollars.. Someone even has it listed for $522!


I know it is out of print, but I got mine for about £5 so I reckon it was a bargain. Keep looking @delawarejones you might be lucky!


There’s one on Ebay. Expensive, but reasonable compared to Amazon sellers! (I’ll wait to try my luck in Wales, so if anyone’s interested):


Well…we actually still sieve flour in Italy! :smiley:

As for the Word of The Day…Melin, Malinau, Melino…oh I love it when Welsh words are closer to Italian than English! I really didn’t expect to find so many! :open_mouth:


apparently 600 words, which are either derived from Latin or cognates, for whatever reason.

Edit: I have to correct the above. In the link below it says that 600 or so old Welsh words were borrowed directly into ancient Welsh.

Some of these will have dissapeared and are obsolete, but more will have been added from later Latin - religious and legal connections etc - all the scholars /monks etc etc wrote Latin. Then there are borrowings from other languages like Norman French, as happened in English. Then there are those later on from English, many if not most of which which came from French, many of which in turn came from Latin.

Then there are other words which went into Latin from Celtic (Gaullish and the Iberian languages) - words for Chariot etc. Some words have done a round trip from Celtic / Gaulish or Ibero celtic into Latin, into English and back into Welsh - Car is a good example of a word like that.

The common PIE routes also means that many are simply cognates, perhaps derived in both languages from a more ancient source.

Maybe 600 is a Conservative figure.

N.B. I just read that melin came into Welsh from late Latin.


For some reason, I find your statement hilarious! :rofl:


Diolch Gisella-Albertini. I’ll keep it in mind and $39 US is far more reasonable!


Huh. When I bought my copy (nine years ago!) at Siop y Bont in Pontypridd, it was priced at £15. (The receipt is still in the book . . .) Remarkable how the price has changed over the years.


Who knew this book would be a collectible? :smiley:


Just thought of another " riddle" in the bottom of an aga or Rayburn solid fuel cooker to remove ash from the bottom of the fire. Same thing in my woodburner. What word would you use in Welsh?


Do you mean the ash tray Jo, or the grate between the fire and the ash tray?

If you mean the grate, then this would be commonly known as a grât = graht in north of Wales. But there may be other dialectical variations. Though you would always be perfectly understood if you talked about the grât in the fire/stove.


Word(s) of the Day 26/09/2018

Ffrio = freeo
Pobi = pobee
Gridyllu = grid-ull-ee
Mudferwi = mead-verr-ooee (fer like the ver in vertical and ooee sounds like the French oui)
Berwi = berr-ooee

Ffrio means to fry.
Pobi means to bake.
Gridyllu means to grill.
Mudferwi means to simmer.
Berwi means to boil.

Sound file -


I was thinking of a movable, as in sort of rattling or jiggling motion, grate.

I do love this thread, I find it easier to remember words linked or built upon each other, but also it’s just interesting!


I really enjoy this thread. So many great words!

Question about Berwi (to boil) versus Berwedig (boiling). Is it better to say, Mae’r dŵr yn berwi," or “Mae’r dŵr yn berwedig”


Talking about the here and now, this one… :slight_smile:

If you want to refer to water that has been boiled, you might here berwedig - this flask is, that flask isn’t sort of thing - but yn berwi or wedi berwi much more common in speech :slight_smile:


Diolch, Aran

That’s really helpful. To make sure I understand “Berwedig” properly, would it proper to say, “Mae’n poeth berwedig, heddiw.” Only reason I’m asking is when I saw “berwi” today, I remembered seeing “berwedig” from an early Gair y Diwrnod related to hot weather. Wasn’t sure which context “berwedig” is used, and neither of my dictionaries list “berwedig.” So they are no help.


Nope, 'fraid not - this sort of matching between languages very rarely works - and getting used to the differences is one of the great joys of becoming bilingual - it makes you think about your first language in a new way, and you see that things which seem everyday normal to you are actually parts of the poetry of the language. When you say it’s boiling hot, you don’t actually mean that - it’s figurative, not literal - and other languages will have other figurative devices… :slight_smile: