January 28, 2016



I tried learning Welsh a while ago, and while I found many aspects of its grammar pleasantly regular (compared with other IE languages anyway), one which I found infuriatingly irregular (along with trying to predict grammatical gender) was the formation of the plural.

Sometimes it's formed with a suffix, usually with -au or -iau but -nau, -i, -ion, -on, -od, -ydd or -oedd are also potential endings.

Sometimes it's formed through internal vowel inflection like 'tŷ/tai' (house/s), 'bardd/beirdd' (bard/s) or 'bachgen/bechgyn' (boy/s)

Sometimes it's formed through both a suffix AND internal vowel inflection as in 'mab/meibion' (son/s), 'brawd/brodyr' (brother/s) or 'draig/dreigiau' (dragon/s)

Sometimes the plural seems to 'shorten' because it's actually the stem for the singular, ie 'plentyn/plant' (child/ren), 'mochyn/moch' (pig/s) or 'aderyn/adar' (bird/s)

And in at least one case it's an old dual disguised as a plural - 'llaw/dwylo' (hand/s)

It's almost as though Welsh decided to compensate for having fewer irregular verbs. Isn't linguistics fun?

March 21, 2016


thanks for this intimidating overview. I'm getting my war gear on now

August 20, 2017

  • 1538

But you need plurals less than in English because numbers only take the singular noun.

So don't panic :-)

August 20, 2017



January 28, 2016


Brassica? well, how 'bout that. now I will actually remember it. Diolch yn fawr.

Now I have to go find out about Cockney rhyming slang "brassic" meaning penniless, under the heading "boracic lint"...

February 19, 2016


Sounds like no one wants to eat it.

February 7, 2016


In Russia "капуста" (cabbage) is also slang word for money (especially USD). Is there smth like that in England and Wales? Or in other countries?

June 23, 2017


In Costa Rica, "harina" (= flour) is a colloquial term for money, which I find funny because the word "dough" is used similarly in English.

July 29, 2017


In Mexico, it's lana ("wool").

April 6, 2018


"Bread" is another slang word for money in the UK.

I think it's interesting to see these slang words having a similar theme.

For example, wheat, flour and dough are all used to make bread. :-)

January 15, 2019


In northern Italy (Emilia-Romagna at least) it is "grano" (wheat)

September 8, 2018


Is it always in the plural? I put in "cabbage" and was corrected.

January 28, 2016


I think the singular (or more properly, singulative) is bresychen

January 28, 2016


Why singulative?

June 21, 2017


I'm still not 100% sure, but I think the distinction between singular and singulative is that the former is morphologically unmarked (which is cross-linguistically more common) and the latter is marked. I'm really not sure if there's a semantic difference though.

June 21, 2017


Makes sense, thanks.

June 27, 2017


Duolingo appears now to accept cabbage for bresych (in reference to the foodstuff in general -- (Wyt) ti'n hoffi bresych? : Do you like cabbage?). It's plural when referring to the cabbage plants themselves -- Dw i'n mynd i blannu bresych : I'm going to plant cabbages. If you want to specify just one (head of) cabbage, by the way, the word is the 'singulative' bresychen -- Mae bresychen yn yr oergell : There's a cabbage in the fridge.

December 31, 2017


I think lettuce has been used as slang for money in the US. Not common tho.

December 24, 2017


Bresych Would Be Nice In Borscht...

December 6, 2018
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