A recent announcement by rail company led me to a bigger piece of news that I’d missed. Small news The UK train operator TransPennine Express announced in December 2022 that it would start providing departure boards in British Sign Language (BSL). TransPennine Express launches British Sign Language departure boards – Rail UK In that announcement…… Continue reading Status of British Sign Language in Britain
Goodbye Snowdon, hello Yr Wyddfa
The Snowdonia National Park Authority decided in November 2022 to use the Welsh names Yr Wyddfa (for the mountain Snowdon) and Eryri (for the region of Snowdonia). This will apply ‘in both Welsh and English contexts’. https://snowdonia.gov.wales/paper-on-place-names-principles-approved-in-order-to-safeguard-and-celebrate-welsh-place-names-within-the-national-park/ According to a press report, the Authority will: in Welsh correspondence, use only Welsh names; in English texts,…… Continue reading Goodbye Snowdon, hello Yr Wyddfa
Rebranding the Welsh national football teams
The Welsh national football teams have always been known internationally by the English name Wales. According to news reports this week, the Welsh Football Association now intends to change the teams’ official name to the Welsh name Cymru. The Welsh FA plans to make this change after the men’s World Cup in Qatar, which starts…… Continue reading Rebranding the Welsh national football teams
Keeping Welsh place names
An English commercial property lawyer from Manchester has drafted a set of legal covenants that property vendors can insert in property sale contracts to prevent buyers replacing the Welsh name of the house or place. He did this after becoming incensed about the name of farmland called Banc Cornicyll (‘ridge for lapwing or for plover’).…… Continue reading Keeping Welsh place names
That Welsh place with the long name
A village on the island of Anglesey in North Wales is famous for having the longest place name in the British Isles. Reciting the full name was the favourite party trick of a boy who was in my class in the first year of secondary school. Name and history This is the name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllandysiliogogogoch English…… Continue reading That Welsh place with the long name
Confusing name for Chester
In a recent short break in Chester, I learnt that it is easy to confuse the Welsh names of Chester and of another town 130 miles away in Wales. It can be hard to decipher medieval texts when it is not clear which of these two important sites is under discussion. Chester Chester stands at…… Continue reading Confusing name for Chester
Consonant mutation in Manx
I was intrigued to read recently that the bus company in the Isle of Man is called Bus Vannin (in English), Barroose Vannin (in Manx Gaelic). Vannin is a form of Mannin, the Manx name for the Island. The change from Mannin to Vannin is evidently an instance of a process called initial consonant mutation,…… Continue reading Consonant mutation in Manx
How do you say Llantwit Major?
A son of one of my ancestors was born in Axbridge (Somerset) but later settled in the village of Llantwit Major in Glamorgan (Wales). According to Wells (2014), Llantwit Major is an English-speaking area and its name is actually English, though that name begins with the characteristic Welsh syllable llan-, meaning church. Wells states that the…… Continue reading How do you say Llantwit Major?