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Re, move to wiktionary[edit]

I disagree. If there is not enough material here yet, the article may be merged with Etymology of Vlach, which is essentially about the same word/concept. dab () 18:06, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Mirrored image[edit]

The picture of the coin is mirrored as is the faximile upon which it was created. As much as contributions are very much welcome, the contributors dealing with ancient scripts should pay more attention, I suppose.

Asterisk as a letter?[edit]

From the article:

With the Old Germanic name *Walhaz, plural *Walhôz, adjectival form *walhiska- ...

I'm not aware of the asterisk being (or representing) an Old German letter, and there is no reference to such on the Old High German page. There is also no footnote on this page that the asterisk might refer to. What does this asterisk represent here? --ΨΦorg (talk) 19:30, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

In historical lingusitics, an asterisk before a word denotes the fact that the word has not been attested, but has been reconstructed by linguists based on its descendants. --Jfruh (talk) 17:06, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Wales in Portuguese[edit]

Can someone tell me why "País de Gales" (literally translated: "The Country of Wales") for "Wales" in Portuguese? And so, consequently there is the term "galês" (or, alternatively, "a língua galêsa") for the "Welsh" language? Would there be any connection or related pattern to the name "William" traditionally being translated as "Guilherme" in Portuguese? Bepp (talk) 21:13, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Not sure but it French, anyway, the letter W in other languages often becomes a G (i.e. William - Guillame). Perhaps it is the same phenomenon? --Jfruh (talk) 21:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Course it is. Even the De Gaulle family seems to have ancestors called Van de Walle, which is Dutch. Ad43 (talk) 05:08, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Pennsylvania Dutch[edit]

The article currently claims that "Welschhinkel" and "Welschkann" are the Penn Dutch names for Turkey and Maize respectively and that is should be literally translated as "French" grain. I'm no expert but surely the proper translation would be foreign grain as 1. maize is not french and never has been and 2. the article goes into significant depth to explain the origin of this word as essentially relating to things "foreign" to a particular group of people, the Germanic tribes. Alex McKee (talk) 22:32, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

It's true that, as the article indicates, "welsch" in origin means "foreign," but it's possible that in Switzerland in the 16th century (the origin of Pa. Dutch) the meaning had narrowed to mean the Romance-speakers in France. If maize entered Germany via France, that would explain the meaning. The question is, what is standard Pa. Dutch for "French"? --Jfruh (talk) 15:10, 5 September 2009 (UTC)


As a native German speaker I may perhaps be considered as a kind of "native informant". I this role I'd like to suggest to treat the word "Welscher/Welsche" as a historic word. I have never in my 52 years of earthly life come across anybody using that word, either in written or spoken German.

G. Berkemer —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

You're only an informant for the region where you live, at best. There are definitely regions where the word "welsch"/"walsch" is still used, even if all of them may be outside Germany (there's no reason to exclude Austrians, South Tyrolians, Swiss and Pennsylvania Dutch). Always be careful and don't generalise from your own limited experience – I doubt you've been to everywhere in the German Sprachraum. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:32, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I am also a native German, and the word welsch is not only historical but also a more sophisticated and a little pejorative word to describe a Frenchman or an Italian.13:13, 4 January 2011 (UTC)Ampsivare (talk)

Sorry, Florian, but G. Berkemer is right. Historical forms are always available for people who want to make humorous usage, methinks, but that doesn't make them current. And as for dialect forms, you have to identify them as such. Telling the English-speaking user that Welsche is standard German usage is really misleading. Besides, we shouldn't be too snippy with newcomers to Wiki. --Doric Loon (talk) 21:10, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
If a word is still used in several varieties of German (not only in dialectal German, but also Standard German, for example Swiss Standard German), it can hardly be called "historical". That was my whole point. If G. Berkemer is oblivious of that fact, it doesn't change the fact, however much G. Berkemer may be a native speaker of German. German is a multicentric language, just like English. If the term fall for autumn sounds archaic to a native speaker of English, that doesn't make the term historical. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:46, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Old English was the language of the Anglo-Saxons[edit]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Old English is the language of the Anglo-Saxons. So the meaning of wilisc in the introductory paragraph should be changed to 'foreign, non-Anglosaxon, Cymric'. The Dutch reference doesn't mean any person from England which contained Cymric people. (talk) 13:13, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Romans or foreigners[edit]

If "welsh" means "foreigner", why didn't the Anglo-Saxons call the Scotts and Picts as such? Nestorius Auranites (talk) 21:09, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Good question. I have no answer. -- Ad43 (talk) 22:16, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Because "Welsh" (and similar words) meant not simply "foreigner", but "Romanised foreigner". See also History of the term Vlach. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:40, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Did the Anglo-Saxons and Germans care whether a foreigner was romanised or not? Did it matter? Foreigners are foreigners after all. If you want to call a foreigner but a specific ethnonym you call him by that specific ethnonym not by the name 'foreigner'. It does not make sense. There is no equivalent for 'romanised' in the Germanic languages after all. Nestorius Auranites (talk) 21:47, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, they did differentiate between different cultural backgrounds. From John Davies, A History of Wales, p.69:

"It is often claimed that the word 'Welsh' is a contemptuous word used by Germanic-speaking peoples to describe foreigners. Yet a glance at the dictionary of any of the Teutonic languages will show that that is not its only meaning. 'Welsh' was not used by Germanic speakers to describe peoples living to the east of them; to the English, walh-stod meant an interpreter, but they had a different word for a translator from Danish. It would appear that 'Welsh' meant not so much foreigners as peoples who had been Romanized; other versions of the word may be found along the borders of the Empire - the Walloons of Belgium, the Welsch of the Italian Tyrol and the Vlachs of Romania - and the welschnuss, the walnut, was the nut of the Roman lands. This recognition of the persistence of the Roman tradition is striking, particularly when it is placed alongside the continuance of the Brittonic language and its successor...."

Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:43, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Davies is reconsidering the definition of 'Welsh' as 'foreigner'. He says: "It is often claimed." He doesn't seem to buy into the definition of 'Welsh' as 'foreigner'. Nestorius Auranites (talk) 00:11, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Please read it again. He is stating that it is often claimed that it is used as a contemptuous word for foreigner, when that is not its only meaning - it is a word used for Romanised foreigners. Ghmyrtle (talk) 00:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
He says:"It would appear that 'Welsh' meant not so much foreigners as peoples who had been Romanized." He doesn't say "Romanised foreigners" he says "Romanised peoples". Surely, for the Germans "Romanised peoples" were foreigners, but you cannot make up a term on your own just to win the argument. But then why would 'walh' shift from a vague definition ('foreigner') to a specific one ('Romanised peoples'). Can anybody explain that? Is there another word for 'foreigner' in Germanic languages by the way? You need to explain why 'walh' was not applied to other foreigners. If a word is not used in practice with a meaning hypothetically assigned to it, then this word means something else. Nestorius Auranites (talk) 10:23, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't "need to explain" anything - I'm simply quoting a reliable source. But perhaps you could explain your opinion - unsupported by any evidence that I've seen - that the term "'walh' shift[ed] from a vague definition ('foreigner') to a specific one..." Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:31, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Where does Davies mention 'romanised foreigner'? In the article 'walha', it is said: "Thus, by Germanic speakers this name was generalized first onto all Celts, and later onto all Romans." But at the beginning it is said:"Walh (singular) or Walha (plural) (ᚹᚨᛚᚺᚨ) is an ancient Germanic word, meaning "foreigner", "stranger" or "roman", German: welsch. The word can be found in Old High German walhisk, meaning "Roman, in Old English wilisc, meaning "foreign, non-Anglo-Saxon, Cymric", and in Old Norse as valskr, meaning "French"." From where did the definition as foreigner come? Nestorius Auranites (talk) 19:16, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

french diphtong "au" from Latin incomprehensible?[edit]

saltare > sauter; falsus > faux; salvare > sauver; alter > autre; (talk) 01:15, 9 April 2010 (UTC) (talk) 01:15, 9 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:11, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Late Latin *assaltus > Old French assault > English assault; Late Latin *caldaro > Old Norman-French cauldron > English cauldron (French chaudron)Nortmannus (talk) 00:53, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
This is a very old section, which doesn't need further discussion. garik (talk) 14:38, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Walhalla or Valhalla[edit]

I am wondering if Walhalla or Valhalla (Old Norse Valhöll) also derive from Walha?! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Codrinb (talkcontribs) 20:59, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

No, it doesn't derive from Walha. Valhöll is a composite word made from Valir which means 'slain, slaughtered' and höll which is 'palace, hall'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jumahess (talkcontribs) 11:05, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Title and introduction of the article[edit]

There is a conundrum here: The article is about one word attested in many different forms in many different languages, but all of them ultimately, historically go back to the same proto-form *Walha- (stem) or *Walhaz (nominative singular). However, what should the article be named? I tried to fix the intro and thought of moving the article, but I'm not sure how to proceed in such a case. Should we give the article the title Walhaz even though that is a reconstructed form? Given that the articles for the runes and some other subjects, such as Germanic deities, also use reconstructed forms, for example Wodanaz, this possibility should be canvassed, but use in this area is terribly inconsistent in Wikipedia. In any event, Walh (singular) and Walha (plural) is not proto-Germanic or even simply "Germanic" or "ancient Germanic" (which doesn't exist as a unified language; you simply cannot quote unitary "Germanic" or "ancient Germanic" forms, just like you can quote Latin or reconstructed proto-Romance but not "common Romance" forms), it's simply Old High German, and that needs to be clarified. But I don't know how to structure the intro better. Anyone have any idea how to fix this? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:57, 29 December 2010 (UTC)


The section of this article which goes through all the languages needs to be re-organized. Central Europe and Western Europe are not suitable categories. It would be much better to group these linguistically. --Doric Loon (talk) 21:05, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

What about Wallis/Valais canton/region?[edit]

What about the Swiss Wallis/Valais canton/region? Does it have the same root? Or is it just coming from the Vallis Poenina, the name used by Romans for the upper Rhône valley?--Codrin.B (talk) 19:30, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

The root of "Valais" is the Latin "vallis", with "Wallis" as its xenonym in german language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:33, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Organizing the information[edit]

I think it would be very useful to have table like this, possible with more relevant columns: Words derived from Walhaz:

Language Form Meaning
English Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom
English Walsden a large village in West Yorkshire, England
German Welschbillig a place in the Moselle valley, where Moselle romanic was spoken
German Welschkohl a German exonym meaning...
Greek Βλάχοι (Vlákhi/Vláhi) Shepherd (occasionally pejorative)/Romanian/Vlach
Bulgarian влах Romanian/Vlach
Bulgarian влах man from Wallachia
Czech Valach man from Wallachia
Czech Valach man from Valašsko (in Moravia)
Czech valach shepherd
Czech valach gelding (horse)
Czech valach lazy man
Czech Vlach Italian
Hungarian vlach Vlach
Hungarian oláh Romanian/Vlach
Hungarian olasz Italian
Macedonian влав cattle breeder, shepherd
Polish Włoch Italian
Polish Włochy Italy
Polish Wołoch Romanian / Vlach
Polish wałach gelding (horse)[citation needed]
Old Russian волохъ man speaking a Romance language
Russian валах Vlach
Serbian Влах citizen of the Republic of Ragusa
Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian Влах, Vlah Vlach
Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian Влах, Vlah man from Wallachia
Serbian (Užice dialect) Вла(х), Старовла(х) medieval nomadic people from Stari Vlah and Mala Vlaška
Croatian Vlah Istro-Romanian
Croatian (Dubrovnik dialect) Vlah man from Herzegovina (pejorative)
Croatian (western dialects) Vlah Italian (pejorative)
Serbian and Croatian влах, vlah medieval nomadic cattle breeder
Croatian (dialects of Istria) vlah new settler (pejorative)
Croatian (Dalmatian dialects) vlah (vlaj) plebeian (pejorative)
Croatian (Dalmatian insular dialects) vlah man from the mainland (pejorative)
Croatian (western and northern dialects) vlah (vlaj) Orthodox Christian, usually Serb (pejorative)
Croatian (Podravina dialects) vlah Catholic who is a neoshtokavian speaker (pejorative)[citation needed]
Bosnian vlah, влах non-Muslim living in Bosnia, usually Serb (pejorative)
Bosnian vlah Catholic (pejorative)
Slovak Valach man from Wallachia
Slovak Valach man from Valašsko (in Moravia)
Slovak valach shepherd
Slovak valach gelding (horse)
Slovak Vlach Italian
Slovene Lah Italian (pejorative)
Western Slovenian dialects Lah Friulian
Slovene Vlah           Serbian immigrant (pejorative)[citation needed]
Ukrainian волох Romanian / Vlach

--Codrin.B (talk) 20:27, 6 January 2012 (UTC)


At one point this article says: “In English usage the words Gaul and Gaulish are used synonymously with Latin Gallia, Gallus and Gallicus. However the similarity of the names is probably accidental: the English words are borrowed from French Gaule and Gaulois, which appear to have been borrowed themselves from walha-. Germanic w is regularly rendered with French gu / g (cf. guerre = war, garder = ward), and the diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant (cf. cheval ~ chevaux). Gaule or Gaulle can hardly be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a (cf. gamba > jambe), the regular outcome of Latin Gallia would have been *Jaille in French.[4][5] This also applies to the French name for Wales, which is le pays de Galles.” At another point it says: “In most Oïl languages[9] and Irish, walhaz was borrowed and altered by changing the initial w to g (cf. English "war" French guerre, English "William" vs. French Guillaume or even English "ward" vs. "guard", borrowed into English from French) resulting in Gaul- : Gaule "Gaul", Gaulois "Gaulish"”. These paragraphs appear to be contradictary. Is Gaul related to Gallia, or not? Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 08:17, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

The online OED has “ Gaul (the name of the country), < French Gaule, an adoption (phonologically obscure) of Latin Gallia, < Gall-us a Gaul.”. But maybe the cited texts have more detail… Ewx (talk) 08:09, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
French Gaule means Gallia in Latin and the English word Gaul is borrowed from French Gaule and means both the country and its inhabitants. The similarity between French Gaule and Latin Gallia is a coincidence. Regularly the Latin group /ga/ changes into /ja/ in French : gamba > jambe "leg", gallus > Old French jal, jau "rooster", galbinus > jaune "yellow", gabella > javelle "handful of wheat", etc. French Gaulois means "Gaulish" or "Gaul inhabitants" and is clearly attested as waulois in the northern French dialects and otherwise vaulois see for instance [1]. There is an homonym from another Germanic word gaule "long stick" see [2] similar phonetic evolution. We cannot think of a literary loanword because the form would be Gall- and not Gaul- like in this scholar loanword gallican "French" Nortmannus (talk) 10:17, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Factual error on situation in Switzerland[edit]

"Welsch" is not used pejorative and is only reserved for francophone regions. The French term "Romandie" and the german term "Welschschweiz" are identical and define areas instead of political territories, since some cantons are bilingual. Corresponding to that, French and german speakers use different names for municipalities, for example "Sion" vs. "Sitten" or "Neuchâtel" vs. "Neuenburg". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Removed incorrect information from Yiddish section[edit]

The text that read:

Similarly the corresponding Hebrew root "la'az" or "lo'ez", literally meaning "foreign", is used of the Judeo-Italian languages 
and of vocabulary of Romance origin in Yiddish. In the Talmudic commentaries of Rashi and the Tosafists, 
the translations of individual words into Old French are known as lo'azim.

is both factually inaccurate and irrelevant here. The Hebrew "la'az" -- לעע״ז -- is not a root. It is rather a Hebrew Abbreviation, namely, an acronym for "לשון עבדי עבודה זרה". Its literal meaning is "language of the performers of strange worship" (i.e., the language of idolaters/infidels). It is indeed commonly used to refer to translations of obscure Hebrew words into Old French by Rashi in his commentaries -- though not only in the Talmud but elsewhere as well. As Rashi lived in France, it was natural for him to use French as a reference for rendering complex terms. Being not a proper native root, it is irrelevant to the discussion of the subject of this page. Saparagus (talk) 18:11, 16 November 2013 (UTC) Saparagus Arbiter


Re Based on what I can find e.g. and 'French' seems a more supportable interpretation of 'valskr' than 'Gaul'. Ewx (talk) 08:18, 19 April 2015 (UTC)