"Your black biro"

Translation:Dy feiro ddu

September 21, 2016

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A biro is a ballpoint pen? There's something new for North American ears.


I've never heard anyone call a ballpoint pen a Biro before. Maybe it's a regional thing.


Common in Britain.


Never heard of a biro. I was sitting here, trying to decide if i has read that right or had perhaps not had enough coffee yet.

  • 2704

The problem for Welsh in devising a word for the ballpoint pen is that the word 'pen' is 'head' in Welsh.

The formal word 'ysgrifbin' = 'writing pen' has been available for about 200 years but a more casual word has only been available since the 70's ie the commercial brand 'biro'. which has been adopted as the word 'beiro'


very interesting, thank you!


So does almost nobody say ysgrifbin anymore? Would it sound unnatural to say 'A oes gennych ysgrifbin' in Welsh? Would it imply a fountain pen or something? I asked Google translate 'Do you have a pen?' And it gave me 'A oes gennych pen' So presumably the English word is still borrowed sometimes in spite of It's other meaning in Welsh.


Google's Welsh is very poor still, mixing registers and with frequent errors.

A oes... is from a formal register of Welsh, and not often used day-to-day, Similarly gennych, especially without a following chi. And there should be a soft mutation of pin (rather than pen) in that sentence.

ysgrifpin is probably less used nowadays than pin. You might use pen, but that is normally used for 'head' or 'end'.

So, for 'your (common or garden) black (ball-point) pen:

  • dy feiro ddu/du


Very helpful. Thank you!

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