Welsh exonyms

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The modern Welsh language contains names for many towns and other geographical features in Great Britain and elsewhere. Names of places outside Wales are exonyms.

In some cases, these derive from the Brythonic names which were used during or before the Roman occupation: for example, Llundain (London), Cernyw (Cornwall), Dyfnaint (Devon), and Ebrauc / Efrog (York). In Britain, towns were a Roman innovation. Many English county towns, founded as Roman castra and now having the English suffix "-c(h)ester", have Welsh names, in most cases using the prefix Caer-. Examples include Caer or Caerlleon (for Chester), Caerloyw (Gloucester), Caerwrangon (Worcester), Caergrawnt (Cambridge), and Caerwynt (Winchester). In some other cases, Welsh names are translations of the English name, often influenced by the Welsh poetic tradition — for example, Rhydychen (literally, "oxen ford") for Oxford, and Gwlad-yr-haf ("land of summer") for Somerset. Some English cities which have developed more recently, but with which Welsh people have had commercial links through trading or other economic associations such as through population migration, have developed Welsh forms of their English names. Examples are Bryste (Bristol) and Lerpwl (Liverpool). A final set of Welsh placenames are those for settlements in England which lie close to the modern border with Wales. In some cases, such as Ross-on-Wye (Rhosan-ar-Wy) and probably Leominster (Llanllieni), the English name seems to have derived from the Welsh name. In other cases, such as Llwydlo (Ludlow) and Henffordd (Hereford), the Welsh name derived from the English name of the settlement.

Below are lists of Welsh exonyms.

Continents and oceans[edit]

Welsh name English name
Affrica Africa
Antarctica/Yr Antarctig Antarctica
Asia Asia
Awstralasia Australia/Oceania
Gogledd America North America
De America South America
Ewrop Europe
Cefnfor Tawel Pacific Ocean
Cefnfor Yr Iwerydd

(also historically the antiquarian name Y Llif meaning The Flood)

Atlantic Ocean
Cefnfor India Indian Ocean
Cefnfor Antarctig/Deheuol Antarctic/Southern Ocean
Cefnfor Arctig Arctic Ocean

England[edit]

Welsh name English name
Lloegr England
Môr Udd English Channel
Caerfaddon Bath
Rhydweli Bedford
Penbedw Birkenhead
Trefesgob Bishop's Castle
Bryste
(historically Caerodor)
Bristol
Catraeth Catterick
Caergaint Canterbury
Caerliwelydd Carlisle
Caergrawnt Cambridge
Swydd Gaerlleon Cheshire
Caer
(also Caerllion Fawr)
Chester
Caerfuddai Chichester
Llanffynhonwen Chirbury
Cernyw Cornwall
Caercolyn Colchester
Cryw
(also Criw)
Crewe
Dyfnaint Devon
Twmpyn Glori[1] Dewsbury
Dofr[2] Dover
Caerwysg Exeter
Aberfal Falmouth
Ynys Wydrin Glastonbury
Caerloyw Gloucester
Henffordd Hereford
Ynys Wyth Isle of Wight
Afon Hwmbr River Humber
Caint Kent
Ceintun Kington (Herefordshire)
Caerhirfryn Lancaster
Caerlŷr Leicester
Llanllieni Leominster
Caerlwytgoed Lichfield
Lerpwl
(also historically the antiquarian name Llynlleifiad)
Liverpool
Llundain
(also historically the antiquarian name Caerludd)
London
Llwydlo Ludlow
Ynys Wair Lundy Island
Manceinion Manchester
Afon Merswy River Mersey
Yr Heledd Wen Nantwich
Yr Heledd Ddu Northwich
Môr y Gogledd North Sea
Croesoswallt Oswestry
Rhydychen Oxford
Pencrug Penkridge
Penrhudd Penrith
Aberplym Plymouth
Llongborth Portsmouth
Rhosan-ar-Wy Ross-on-Wye
Sain Helen St Helens
Caersallog
(historically Caercaradog and Caergradwg)
Salisbury
Gwlad-yr-haf Somerset
Amwythig Shrewsbury
Côr y Cewri Stonehenge
Afon Tafwys River Thames
San Steffan Westminster
Yr Eglwys Wen Whitchurch (Shropshire)
Caerwynt Winchester
Cilgwri Wirral
Caerwrangon Worcester
Caerwrygion Wroxeter
Efrog/Caerefrog York
Y Cefn The Chevin

Scotland[edit]

Welsh name Scottish Gaelic name English name
Yr Alban Alba Scotland
Aeron Inbhir Air Ayr
Afon Clud Abhainn Chluaidh River Clyde
Caeredin Dùn Èideann Edinburgh
Moryd Gweryd Linne Foirthe Firth of Forth
Ynysoedd Heledd Na h-Innse Gall Hebrides
Llyn Llumonwy Loch Laomainn Loch Lomond
Lleuddiniawn Lodainn/Labhdaidh Lothian
Ynysoedd Erch Árcaibh Orkney
Yr Ynys Hir An t-Eilean Sgiathanach The Isle of Skye
Merin Rheged Linne Salmhaigh Solway Firth
Ystrad Clud Srath Chluaidh Strathclyde

Ireland[edit]

Welsh name Irish name English name
Y Môr Celtaidd An Mhuir Cheilteach Celtic Sea
Iwerddon Éire Ireland
Gweriniaeth Iwerddon Poblacht na hÉireann/Éire Republic of Ireland / Ireland
Gogledd Iwerddon Tuaisceart Éireann Northern Ireland
Wlster
(also Wledd, Wlaidd, or Wleth)
Ulaidh Ulster
Dulyn Baile Átha Cliath Dublin
Belffast Béal Feirste Belfast
Corc Corcaigh Cork

British Islands[edit]

Welsh name Native name English name
Ynys Manaw Ellan Vannin Isle of Man
Ynysoedd y Sianal Îles Normandes Channel Islands
Ynys y Garn Guernesey Guernsey
Sarc Sèr or Cerq Sark

British overseas territories[edit]

Welsh name English name
Tiriogaeth tramor y Deyrnas Unedig British overseas territory
Tiriogaeth Brydeinig yr Antarctig British Antarctic Territory
Tiriogaeth Brydeinig Cefnfor India British Indian Ocean Territory
Ynysoedd Virgin Prydeinig British Virgin Islands
Ynysoedd Cayman Cayman Islands
Ynysoedd y Falklands Falkland Islands
Ynysoedd Pitcairn Pitcairn Islands
De Georgia ac Ynysoedd Sandwich y De South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Saint Helena, Ynys Ascension a Tristan da Cunha Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Ynysoedd Turks a Caicos Turks and Caicos Islands

Europe and the Mediterranean[edit]

Welsh name Native name English name
Y Môr Adria Deti Adriatik, Јадранско Море, Jadransko More, Jadransko Morje, Mare Adriatico Adriatic Sea
Y Môr Aegeaidd Αιγαίο Πέλαγος, Ege Denizi Aegean Sea
Alpau
(historically Mynydd Mynnau)
Alp, Alpe, Alpen, Alpes, Alpi, Alps, Arpes, Aups Alps
Athen Αθήνα Athens
Awstria Österreich Austria
Yr Ynysoedd Balearig Islas Baleares, Illes Balears Balearic Islands
Y Môr Baltig Балтийское Море, Baltijas jūra, Baltijos jūra, Itämeri, Läänemeri, Morze Bałtyckie, Ostsee, Østersøen, Östersjön Baltic Sea
Bafaria Bayern Bavaria
Gwlad Belg België, Belgique Belgium
Y Môr Du Karadeniz, Marea Negră, Чёрное Море, Черно Море,Чорне Море,შავი ზღვა Black Sea
Llydaw Bertaèyn, Breizh, Bretagne Brittany
Bwlgaria България Bulgaria
Bwrgwyn Bourgogne Burgundy
Yr Ynysoedd Dedwydd Islas Canarias Canary Islands
Carpatiau Carpați, Karpaty, Карпати Carpathians
Caergystennin Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantiniyye Istanbul (Constantinople)
Cwlen Köln Cologne
Creta Κρήτη Crete
Afon Donaw Donau, Duna, Dunaj, Dunav, Дунав, Дунай, Dunărea, Tuna River Danube
Denmarc Danmark Denmark
Yr Aifft مصر Egypt
Y Ffindir Finland, Suomi Finland
Fflandrys Flandre, Vlaanderen Flanders
Fflorens Firenze Florence
Ffrainc France France
Galilea הגליל, الجلݐل Galilee
Gwasgwyn Gascogne, Gasconha Gascony
Yr Almaen Deutschland Germany
(Gwlad) Groeg Ελλάδα Greece
Gweriniaeth Tsiec Česká republika Czech Republic
Gwlad Iorddonen الأردنّ Jordan
Hwngari Magyarország Hungary
Ynys yr Iâ Ísland Iceland
Yr Ynysoedd Ionaidd Ιόνια Νισιά Ionian Islands
Y Môr Ionia Deti Jon, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, Mare Ionio Ionian Sea
Yr Eidal Italia Italy
Yr Iseldiroedd Nederland Netherlands
Jeriwsalem
(historically Caersalem)
ירושלם, القدس Jerusalem
Latfia Latvija Latvia
Libanus لبنان Lebanon
Lithwania Lietuva Lithuania
Moscfa Москва Moscow
Normandi
(historically Norddmandi)
Normandie Normandy
Norwy Noreg, Norge, Norga Norway
Llychlyn Skandinavia, Skandinavien Scandinavia
Lwcsembwrg Lëtzebuerg, Luxembourg, Luxemburg Luxembourg
Gwlad Pwyl Polska Poland
Portiwgal Portugal Portugal
Pyreneau Pyrénées, Pirineos, Pirenèus, Pirineus, Pirinioak Pyrenees
Afon Rhein Rain, Reno, Rhein, Rhin, Rijn River Rhine
Rhufain Roma Rome
Rwmania România Romania
Rwsia Россия Russia
Sisili Sicilia Sicily
Slofacia Slovensko Slovakia
Slofenia Slovenija Slovenia
Sbaen España Spain
Y Swistir Schweiz, Suisse, Svizra, Svizzera Switzerland
Thessaloníci Θεσσαλονίκη Thessaloniki
Twrci Türkiye Turkey
Y Môr Tirrenia Mare Tirreno, Mare Tirrenu, Mari Tirrenu, Mer Tyrrhénienne Tyrrhenian Sea
Wcráin Україна Ukraine
Fenis Venezia Venice

The Americas[edit]

Argentina[edit]

Welsh name Spanish name
Yr Ariannin Argentina
Lle Cul La Angostura
Nant y Pysgod Arroyo Pescado
Cwm Hyfryd/Bro Hydref Colonia 16 de Octubre
Caer Antur Fuerte Aventura
Rhyd yr Indiaid Paso de Indios
Dôl y Plu Las Plumas
Porth Madryn Puerto Madryn
Trerawson Rawson
Afon Camwy Río Chubut
Aber Gyrants Río Corrintos
Dyffryn y Merthyron Valle de los Mártires
Dyffryn Oer Valle Frío
Tre Lew(is) Trelew
Dol Afon Dolavon
Tre Felin Trevelin
Welsh name Native name English name
Bolifia Bolivia Bolivia
Brasil Brasil Brazil
Ciwba Cuba Cuba
Gweriniaeth Dominica República Dominicana Dominican Republic
America Ladin America Latina Latin America
Periw Perú Peru
Yr Unol Daleithiau United States United States
Dinas Efrog Newydd New York City New York City

Australia and the Pacific[edit]

Australia[edit]

Welsh name English name
Awstralia Australia
Tiriogaeth Prifddinas Awstralia Australian Capital Territory
Ynys y Nadolig Christmas Island
De Cymru Newydd New South Wales
Tiriogaeth y Gogledd Northern Territory
De Awstralia South Australia
Gorllewin Awstralia Western Australia

The Pacific[edit]

Welsh name English name
Taleithiau Ffederal Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia
Caledonia Newydd New Caledonia
Seland Newydd New Zealand
Papua Guinea Newydd Papua New Guinea

The rest of the world[edit]

Welsh name Native name English name
Gweriniaeth Canolbarth Affrica République Centrafricaine Central African Republic
Tsieina Zhōngguó China
De Affrica Aforika(-)Borwa, Afrika Borwa, Afrika-Dzonga, Afurika Tshipembe, iNingizimu Afrika, South Africa, Suid-Afrika, uMzansi Afrika South Africa
Gwlad Thai ประเทศไทย Thailand
Fietnam Việt Nam Vietnam

Sources[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geiriadur yr Academi, p. 382.
  2. ^ Geiriadur yr Academi, p. 419.