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Not to be confused with Cumbria.
For other uses, see Cambria (disambiguation).

If see on earth, see Cambrian. Cambria is a name for Wales, being the Latinised form of the Welsh name Cymru (Wales).[1]


The names of Cymru "Wales" and "Cumbria", were once connected by 17th-century celticists to the Biblical Gomer, or to the Cimbri or the Cimmerians of Antiquity, yet these connections are unlikely. It is now known to come from Old Welsh combrog "compatriot; Welshman", from the root *brogi "country, territory" (cf. Welsh, Cornish, Breton bro "territory, country"), itself from *mrogi (cf. Old Irish mruig, gen. mroga "country").[2][3] Combrog derives from a Proto-Brythonic word *kom-brogos, meaning "fellow countryman, compatriot".[4][5] The word is therefore cognate with Breton keñvroad, keñvroiz, "comrade, compatriot".[6] The Latinized name Cambria has the same etymology.

Cambria in legend[edit]

According to Geoffrey of Monmouth in the first part of his pseudohistory Historia Regum Britanniae ("History of the Kings of Britain"), the Trojan Brutus had three sons, among whom he divided his lands after landing in Britain and subduing Gogmagog. His eldest son, Locrinus, received the land between the rivers Humber and Severn, which he called Loegria (a Latinisation of the medieval Welsh name Lloegyr (modern Welsh: Lloegr), "England"). His second son, Albanactus, got the lands beyond the Humber, which took from him the name of Albany (Yr Alban in Welsh: Scotland). The youngest son, Camber, was bequeathed everything beyond the Severn, which was called after him "Cambria".

This legend was widely prevalent throughout the 12th–16th centuries.


The name "Cambria" lives on in some local names, eg Cambrian Line, Cambrian Way. It is also used internationally in geology to denote the geologic period between around 542 million years and 488.3 million years ago; in 1835 the geologist Adam Sedgwick named this geological period the Cambrian, after studying rocks of that age in Wales.[7]

It is also a rare female name.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cambria". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ Lambert, P.-Y., la langue gauloise, Éditions errance 1994
  3. ^ Gove, Philip Babcock, ed. Webster's Third New International 'Dictionary'. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 2002: 321
  4. ^ Jones, J. Morris. Welsh Grammar: Historical and Comparative. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913; new edition, 1995.
  5. ^ Russell, Paul. Introduction to the Celtic Languages. London: Longman, 1995.
  6. ^ Delamarre, Xavier. Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Paris: Errance, 2001.
  7. ^ "Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873)". University of California Museum of Paleontology. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  8. ^ "Quick facts about the name". 
  9. ^ "Cambria - meaning of Cambria name". Retrieved 2009-08-13.