"Y Fenni"


April 15, 2016



Using a map on these sections is a good idea...it will make it more meaningful. I am going to take your suggestion. I have an atlas, but, you're right, it would be really cool if they could add maps onto the page when discussing places.

May 3, 2016


There is a lot, a lot, of practice on place names...maybe a little more then is necessary?

April 15, 2016


Quite agree. And yet not the words for London or Cardiff!

May 2, 2016


Llundain / Caerdydd, if anyone's interested.

December 5, 2016


I wonder whether this has any relationship to "Llun" (of dydd Llun).

Also, I'm puzzled about the "Ll" in "Llundain," given that it doesn't really correspond to the English "L" in London -- that is, why not stick with "Lundain", which is closer to "London" and given that "Llundain" mutates to "Lundain" in some contexts?

December 13, 2017


I don't think any native Welsh words start with L- or R-.

Compare also Rhufain for "Rome" which has Rh- rather than R-.

Since the name for London must have been a very old one in Welsh, I would assume it got assimilated to Welsh phonotactics (i.e. the rules for which sounds can come where).

December 13, 2017


Well, their inclusion familiarizes us with useful words (aber, caer) that appear in place names, and also reinforces the concept of the softening mutations.

December 13, 2017


It seems strange that the English name Abergavenny, which looks like a thoroughly Welsh name (albeit phonetically rendered), should not exactly correspond to the actual Welsh name. Was there ever a time when the town was called in Welsh Abergafenni or something of the sort?

February 21, 2017


Almost certainly! In fact, we sometimes have to explain that we had a recent Eisteddfod Genedlaethol in Abergafenni to people from outside the area who are not familar with the shortened form. The theory seems to be that Y Fenni was used as a shorthand by some local 15th century scribe and has somehow stuck as the 'official' name. There are probably many other places in Wales where the local short form is used locally, but where it has not become the official form, for example:

  • Mach - Machynlleth
  • Llani - Llanidloes
  • Aber - many places beginning with Aber- (as well as those actually called just Aber)
  • Y Bermo - Abermaw (Barmouth)
  • Y Nant - Nant Gwrtheyrn
  • Llandod - Llandrindod (Llandrindod Wells) - The English 'Wells' was probably added in past times, as happened with a number of other places in Britain, to attract tourists
  • Llambed - Llanbedr San Steffan (Lampeter)

Official names are sometimes imposed on places that do not want them. For example, Crug Hywel (Crickhowell, in Powys) is the locally preferred traditional name, taken from the name of a fortified hill overlooking the town. More recently it had the phonetic Crucywel allocated to it 'officially', but the local councils seem to stick with their voters' preferred form and have generally ignored the attempted change.

December 13, 2017


Thanks for the interesting lesson!

August 21, 2018


Can we get a map of these places?

May 3, 2016


I live in Abergavenny and just learnt a lot from reading some of these comments haha

April 30, 2018


Does the 'y' need to be capitalised if it's not at the start of the sentence?

April 8, 2018


I was wondering about this to, as part of a proper noun shouldn't the "y" of "Y Fenni" be capitalized ?

May 12, 2018


Also a nice cheese :-)

December 5, 2016


One of the few, alongside Cardiff, London, Manchester and Newport, that I actually instantly know from road signs!

August 21, 2017
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