World English: Welsh English

By Becky
EC London Teacher

Vocabulary List

a hybrid: when two things join together to make something new e.g. a bike that is half a mountain bike and half a fast road bike is a ‘hybrid’

a term of endearment: a sweet name for someone e.g. ‘honey’, ‘darling’, ‘baby’

light-heartedly: not in a serious but in a humorous way

entirely: completely

a dialect: is a variation of a language spoken in a certain geographical area e.g. They will speak a different dialect of English in Scotland to that which they speak in Manchester.

to come across: to encounter

Now don’t get confused between Wenglish and Welsh…. We do have an entirely different language to English, which is called Welsh and is spoken as a first language by around 600,000 people. Welsh is actually the largest ‘minority language’ in Europe. The Welsh language is not a Germanic or Latin language like English, but rather is a Celtic language, related to other Celtic languages, such as, Scottish and Irish. An Englishman would, for example, understand Welsh no better than a German would!

But don’t worry we are not talking about the Welsh language now but rather the type of English we speak in Wales. If you come to South Wales, you will understand the English we speak, it’s just a regional variation, which we light-heartedly call ‘Wenglish’. This means we sometimes might throw a strange word into a sentence that an outsider would not understand…. These words are often a hybrid of an English word and  a Welsh word and the result is a Wenglish word!

Here are some common examples of Wenglish that you might come across:

Come and ‘cwtch’ with me  = ‘cuddle’

He’s a bit ‘twp‘ = ‘stupid’

She’s only a ‘dwt‘ after all = a very small person

That’s a ‘tidy price fair play = in this example it means ‘decent’/’good’

What’s the matter ‘bach’? = a term of endearment which is the adjective ‘small’ in Welsh

So you’re studying geography, ‘is it‘? = All you good English will spot the mistake with this question tag. It should be ‘aren’t you?’  but in Wales we are often lazy with question tags and to ask a question just make a statement and then add ‘is it’ no matter the auxiliary verb!