SSi Forum



Continuing the theme, when the railway arrived just outside the small village of Llanfihangel Rhydieithon, the station was named after the tiny hamlet of Dolau rather than the village of which the hamlet was a nearby satellite. Over time (no conspiracy here - just organic change) the area came to be known after the station and the name of the village itself is now seldom used, despite it being one of the most beautiful in all Wales*.

*Eastern Powys specialises in breathtakingly gorgeous placenames - Llanfihangel Rhydieithon, Llansantffraid-yn-Elfael, Llanfair Llythynwg, Llanddewi Ystradenni to name just a few of the top of my head.


Didn’t Whitland get named by the railway too?


In the 80’s, this trend extended to a part of East London in a small town called Millwall, on the Isle of Dogs, when the new ‘Docklands Light Railway’ was built. Because of a very little known football team based on the other side of the river was using the same name, one station in this town adopted the name “Mudchute”! Personally, I think the football team should’ve adopted this name instead, but there we are…

At least in Cymru the names of these villages adopted from train station names have some sort of meaning.


I was under the impression that it was called Mudchute because that’s where the spoil got dumped when they excavated the docks. I lived over the river in Deptford/New Cross/Lewisham for many years and used to visit the Mudchute City Farm quite often. Both my partner and I were brought up in the countryside and we used to need an occasional fix of sheep. To see them grazing on waste ground with urban deprivation on one side and the newly-growing Canary Wharf on the other was always slightly surreal.
Getting way, way off topic now, but the area between Lewisham and Deptford is often called St John’s now because of the station (named after a nearby church) rather than its original name of Deptford New Town. This, I think, can be laid squarely at the feet of estate agents. And don’t get me started on the re-branding of Surrey Docks as Surrey Quays!


Then there is the habit possibly encouraged by estate agents, but sometimes just indulged by residents, in naming an area as a variant of the much posher area nearby.

I can’t remember any good examples off the top of my head, but one is reminded of Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock’s “East Cheam”.

Explained by Ray Galton:


This is more than likely the most accurate reason! It has fascinated me for years though that there was no reference to the towns real name, much like why Millwall FC is based south of the river, but then Arsenal was originally a South London team until they moved to Highbury in 1913, so there must’ve been a history for the team on the Isle of Dogs??
I spent most of my childhood in Lewisham and Eltham myself, and was fascinated with the development of Docklands. I remember when they finished building the tower in Canary Wharf, then for new years they illuminated the building in changing coloured lights and green lasers that could be seen as far as Kent!
And of course, St. Johns, just outside Lewisham - didn’t think of that!

Well, I’ve learned something today that I first wondered about 26 years ago!
Diolch! :smile:


Yup, Millwall started as a canning factory team on the Isle of Dogs and moved across the river in 1910 because there was more land available in New Cross to build a bigger ground.

Edited: Just to add (and bring this marginally back on topic), just by the St John’s church mentioned earlier, is this:


West Hampstead? North Kensington?
I remember some residents of the Pepys Estate in Deptford used jokingly to refer to it on occasion as West Greenwich. I also used to work with a woman who declared loudly that she lived in Greenwich. When this happened, as it regularly did, all of her colleagues used to mutter under their breaths in unison “Nearest station Westcombe Park: Charlton, basically.” :laughing:


In all the years I were living in the area, I never knew this place existed! Even stranger, I used to drive my coach along Lewisham Way almost every day for 5 years!

Made my day this has!


Why, oh why did I get a vision of a stage coach pulled by 8 horses with you and, beside you, a youth with a horn to warn all in your path??? :open_mouth:


You wouldn’t believe, but I imagined a coach with horses too. - hehe. :slight_smile:


Hahaha! Believe it or not, my coach was actually quite modern. It had reclining seats, air conditioning and everything! It even had an engine!! :wink:


Well some of us will still prefer to imagine and believe that there were some horses and horns involved somewhere! :smiling_imp:

(And also someone riding shotgun… :slight_smile: )


Coincidentally, I was reading about Gav the other night…


I think it infuriates some of the more upwardly mobile of my neighbours here in Pontcanna in Cardiff that our address is technically ‘Riverside’ (that’s the other side of the Cowbridge Road, and really Not the Same Thing At All).


Then there are those people who live in “…Hove, actually”. :slight_smile:


On one hand …Im comfortable using the more common English borrowings in Welsh…I do it regularly

But on the other hand…there is definitely something happening to the Welsh …that is barely happening in English

A large hollowing out of grammar and vocabulary - I am definitely seeing among younger speakers (some even admit they don’t know the Welsh because everything they do and see is in English) - however some young people know more purist Welsh words like selsig and brechdan…compared to olders :smiley:

…but still I cannot deny it any more… Im struggling to speak with younger first language speakers as they use so much English I actually miss hear their broken English as Welsh - and they switch to English because they think I cant speak Welsh…

  • I never did anything to make them aware of their lack of vocab and phrases…I remained quiet and respectful of their speech, but its hard sometimes.
    Older speakers I have trouble with dialect and accent but that’s life :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m very late to this party but it popped up because of Brynle’s post. I’ve skim read, so apologies if I go over old ground.

My biggest issue with this is - when do you actually know the origin of the word? Some words can surprise you. I’ve never heard anyone complain about loan words in Welsh that don’t sound English, so this is very related to the old antagonism.

I saw a post on Facebook teaching “llodrau” for trousers. I have no issue with teaching lord - it’s good to learn new rules. There were lots of comments about how this is a “better” word than “trowsus” because it’s not a loan word (by which the implication was English).

“trowsus” comes from Scots Gaelic.
“Llodrau” (my understanding) is better translated as breeches.

Now I’m all for trying to use Welsh words where available, but in my opinion it’s better to keep the language alive, irregardless of loan words.

I also think there is too much of a hang-up on a words English origin. I doubt anyone complains if someone used “Zeitgeist” in a Welsh conversation.


To me it’s all a matter of understanding.

One of my favourite put downs was to an english speaker who really didn’t like the welsh language. He said we were always using made up words and didn’t even have our own word for disco.

Neither do you i replied, it’s french.


I haven’t got a hang up…change is the only constant in life/ culture and the universe…I welcome new words…braf (fine) is a beautiful word from the old English “brave”…

What some of us are discussing is a totally different beast…a hollowing out caused by heavy top-down pressures…that the Welsh speakers can’t help but change to…not a natural free trade of language swapping

This is regarding lack of cultural power and lack of media exposure to Welsh in day to day life compared to an incredibly dominant neighbouring language.

Hollowing out = Wholesale replacing of many Welsh words by English (of fairly common concepts)

  • simply because the Welsh aren’t learning them due to the dominance of another language. - many times due to unethical policies from the past and present still affecting the Welsh language’s direction

My friend who is nearly 30, was raised first language speaking in deepest darkest West Wales but hasn’t thought or dreamt in Welsh since he was about 4…he says because everything is in English around him (especially the coastal towns)

Positive Language change (which I adore and welcome) = new words coming in from England…but due to trading new ideas…not Welsh language loss due to the complete lack of seeing Welsh in many different settings.

Pedantic and overly nuanced to some maybe?..but I see it a little more defining…just a perspective…that’s all I can offer you :smiley: :slight_smile: heddwch