Does anyone know the derivation of the word 'heddlu'?
I'm just curious how this came about. Since in most European languages a variation of the word 'police' is used it suggests 'heddlu' may have an interesting derivation and/or perhaps a longer history and adopted/adapted to suit. A bit like 'Town Sergeant' or 'Constable', perhaps, in England.
According to the Wiktionary:
hedd (“peace”) + [soft-mutated] llu (“host, force”)
And for heddwas:
hedd (“peace”) + [soft-mutated] gwas (“servant”)
I really like that formation. And it’s refreshingly different from the omnipresent variations on “police”.
What I’d like to ask native speakers though: In the Cwrs Mynediad they use the word plismon (< policeman, I presume) instead of heddwas. Are the two completely interchangable? Is there a difference in terms of style/dialect between the two?
Yes, that's quite pleasing. Although, they'd have saved a lot of money on sign-painting if they'd have gone along with 'police'. :-)
I think I remember seeing somewhere that heddwas meant '(police) officer' instead of what could be considered the gender-specific 'plismon'. Perhaps a native speaker could confirm that?