As a small personal crusade I am trying to get folk to use the original word for dice, ffrist (the game of dice was ffristial) rather than the anglicised dis. Anyone with me?
You can link directly to a definition (if there is only one for a given sequence of letters) like this: http://www.geiriadur.ac.uk/gpc/gpc.html?dis
According to http://www.geiriadur.ac.uk/gpc/gpc.html?ffristial , ffristial is even older than dis, with citations a century or so earlier. Though as you say, the derived ffrist itself seems a lot younger: http://www.geiriadur.ac.uk/gpc/gpc.html?ffrist
As mizinamo says, ffristial is certainly older, being used in the 14th century by Dafydd ap Gwilym, I'll double check but I'm sure I have an older usage on file than their 18th century one.
Yes, I'm certainly with you in your crusade, partly because of the antiquity of your word, partly because I find it annoying that 'dis' is a borrowing from the incorrect English usage 'dice' as a singular word (the singular being 'die', as in 'the die is cast').
I run a large games club and a network of clubs ... almost no one ever says "the die" ... language changes ...
I downloaded geiriadur app but can't seem to access the wealth of knowledge shared in comments. Any tips?
Ap Geiriadur gives definitions from a number of contemporary dictionaries, none of them showing etymology.
The Geiriadur Prifysgol Cyrmu (GPC) is the dictionary in the link given in an earlier comment - it is not referred to by the Ap Geiriadur. The GPC is the standard historical and etymological dictionary of Welsh. Get to it through the link given, or look for the GPC app for mobile devices. Be aware that many of its historical definitions and usages may be unusual in modern colloquial Welsh.
And for my own personal crusade, in the singular, you are right - it is a die and the plural is dice so to translate mae'r dis o dan y soffa into the die is... should be allowed as it is in fact correct.
Both 'The die is...' and 'The dice is...' are in the database as accepted answers.
Thanks ibisc - I discovered that after posting the comment. It doesn't alter the fact that actually the only response that should be allowed is die for the singular and dice for the plural. But I can campaign for correct English until I'm blue in the face; sadly it's a losing battle. C'est la vie. Dyna geriadur i chi (which is probably all wrong, but never mind!)
As much as I would wish for certain 'rules' in language (especially my distress at seeing stadiums rapidly rwplace stadia in the sports press), I am, at heart, of an anarchic nature and thus love development if meaning and understanding is not lost. The amount of dice referred to is not of massive import to life in general and actually using dice as singular creates further dialogue as to discover whether it be one or more, and that can't be a bad thing. I reign in my authoritarian desire to correct folk as it really isn't so important at times. My personal thoughts.
I don't disagree with much of your argument. It is only insofar as things like saying 'dice' when talking about a single 'die' tend to be the thin end of the wedge when it comes to the evolution of language and common parlance. I tend to lump such things together as it's true that it may seem like small fry, but it isn't when you take into account the cumulative effect on language of all the errors that exist. Mis-use of the apostrophe in English, for instance, is very important because it renders the English nonsense, viz "its a bad day for the long-haired dog when it's visit to the poodle-parlour arrives".
'Dice' as a singular is acceptable and usual in modern English, and is in dictionaries as a singular and a plural.
However, dis is singular, with a plural disiau, and Modern Welsh does distinguish between them.
'Dis' should then be translated as 'dice' because 'a dice' doesn't exist!
Oh I should have said 'dis' should be 'a die', sorry -- dictionaries are not always correct, just put in words that people commonly use, there are masses of words I would NEVER use from modern dictionaries, sad how our language is going down the pan, but that is another matter.
Joiedevivre777 is absolutely 100 per cent right. a) dictionaries are not the be all and end all when it comes to correct language and b) just because an error is perpetuated doesn't make it become a non-error. Same with apostrophes in the English language, practise/practice (I've mentioned that before but the excuse is that Duolingo is American - my argument being that if it's being "written" (in every sense of the word, ie the normal sense and the software-writing sense) for the UK market, then it should have English English, not American English) and countless other examples. If you use the 'coming into common usage' argument, then we will all be saying: "pls txt me + btw I'm not (happy emoji) about xyz/whatever. BR (best regards) or KR (kind regards). Language is the one thing that differentiates us from wild animals - let's not trash it.