0954 Gwefan Cymru-Catalonia. Two influential short articles from Seren Gomer, 1823, calling on Welsh people to give Welsh names to their children rather than English names. Original Welsh article with an English translation.. Mr. Gomer, - Gan fod y Cymr˙ yn ymhoffi cymaint yn eu hiaith a’u cenedl, pa beth all fod yr achos eu bod yn myned at ieithoedd ereill i ymof˙n am eu henwau priodol?

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ENWAU CYMRAEG. Awdur: Ieuan Ddu o Lan Tawy
Welsh Names. Author: Ieuan Ddu o Lan Tawy
One of two short articles from Seren Gomer 1823 translated into English. (The other is at 0954ke- Welsh Names. Author: Cymro). The use of Welsh forenames by some families from the mid-1820s onwards instead of English names was probably due in no small part to the publication of these two appeals to give children Welsh names.

 


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24 06 2000

 

  1874k Cymraeg yn unig

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Our comments are in orange type


From around 1825 onwards one begins to see in birth registers, censuses and parish records Welsh names of Celtic origin being used once more after centuries of abandonment. This was in no small part due to two items which appeared in Seren Gomer, 1823, under the title 'Enwau Cymreig' (Welsh Names). The authors were 'Cymro' (Welshman' and 'Ieuan Ddu o Lan Taw˙' - 'black-haired Ieuan (John) from the bank of the Taw˙ (= Tawe) river'


Below is the article broken up into sections with an ENGLISH TRANSLATION (fairly literal) appended.


SPELLING: In the text either the author or editor makes use of a grave accent in an unpredictable and inconsistent fashion.


We have marked the ‘y’ pronunced [i, i:] as ‘˙’. Unmarked ‘y’ is pronounced with the obscure vowel.

 

ENWAU CYMREIG
{WELSH NAMES}
 
___________________

”Odid Cymro, tro treiglais,
Nad aeth, ysywaeth, yn
Sais!”

{ A rarity the Welshman, ??each time I passed by??
Who didn’t become, more’s the pity, an Englishman.}

___________________


“Mi welaf, er ys dyddiau,
Ar rai o Gymr˙, feiau:
Sef, troi yn Saeson - atgas waith!-
A gwadu iaith eu mamau.”

{ I can see, for some days now,
Faults with some Welsh people,
Namely, turning into English people - an odious work ??= an odious thing to do??!
And rejecting the language of their mothers.}



___________________

Mr. GOMER, - Yr achos penaf i mi eich blino yn bresenawl ˙w yr arferiad gwrthun lleddfol s˙dd gan y Cymr˙, o alw enwau Seisnig, &c., ŕr eu plant. Ymhyfrydant drigolion pob gwlad, ond Cymru, i osod enwau eu gwlad eu hunain ŕr eu plant. Gwelwn fel y bostia y Ffrancod yn eu De, y Gw˙ddelod yn eu Fitz, ac eu O, ac y Celyddoniaid eu Mac;

{ Mr. GOMER, - The main reason for me bothering you at present is the reprehensible and sad habit of the Welsh people of calling their children by English names. The inhabitants of every country, except the Welsh, take pleasure in giving names of their own country to their children. We see how the French boast of their ‘De’, the Irish of their ‘Fitz’, and their ‘O’, and the Caledionians their ‘Mac’; }

___________________

ond, pa le y canfyddir y gwladgarwch hyn˙ yn y Cymr˙? Os dygw˙dda fod ar un o hon˙nt yr enw Ap, ymwrthodant âg ef yn ddioed, os gallant: neu os b˙dd rh˙w amgylchiadau nas gallant ymwrthodu âg ef ŕr unwaith, y maent mor w˙laidd fel y tröant AB OWEN i Bowen, AP HARRI i Parri, ac AP HUW i Pugh, &c. yn union, fel pe buasai yn waradw˙dd oc y mw˙af i wisgo rh˙w hen enw Cymreig. Ai canmoladw˙ h˙n? Gadawaf idd˙nt ateb drost˙nt eu hunain.

{ but where is this patriotism to be found in the Welsh people? If one of them happens to have the name AP, they get rid of it at once, if they can; or if there are some circumstances so that they can’t get rid of it at once, they are so humble that they change AB OWEN into Bowen, AP HARRI into Parri, and AP HUW into Pugh, &c. exactly as if it was the greatest disgrace to bear an old Welsh name. Is this praiseworthy? I shall let them answer for themselves. }


___________________

Ond y cynhyrfiad penaf idd y llinellau h˙n yd˙w - nad yd˙nt yn gosod enwau cyntaf Cymreig ŕr eu plant. Eu rheswm pčnaf, ysgatf˙dd, ˙w, am nad ˙w eu cymdogion yn gwneuthur fell˙: ond dylent gofiaw yr hęn ddiareb wiw Gymreig, mai “Deuparth gwaith ˙w dechreu”. Er anffured y Cymr˙, nid w˙f am eu cyfrif mor ddrelaidd ag i feddwl eu bod yn tybied yr enwau Sacsonaidd, Hebreaidd, &c., yn harddach nog yr enwau Cymreig, ond ei fod yn gyfrifiadw˙ idd y rheswm a roddw˙d uchod; ond gobeithiaf yn awr y gwellâant {sic} yr h˙n drachefn, mŕl y gwnaethant mewn rhai pethau oddiar gyfodiad eich SEREN gain.

{ But what spurred me the most to write these lines (‘the greatest excitation for these lines’) - is that they don’t give their children Welsh first names. Their main reason, maybe, is that their neighbours don’t do so: but they should remember the splendid old Welsh saying, “Deuparth gwaith ˙w dechreu”. (‘Two thirds of a job is beginning’ - beginning is half a job done). But though the Welsh people are so unwise, I don’t consider them so foolish as to think that the Saxon, Hebrew, etc names are more attractive than Welsh names, but that it is due to the reason given above. But I hope that now they will improve the thing again, as they do in some things since the rising of your fair SEREN (= “star” - Seren Gomer, (= ‘Star of Gomer’, ‘Gomer’s star’, the name of the magazine founded in 1814 by Joseph Harris, whose by-name was ‘Gomer’) }

___________________

A chŕn y rhoddaf isod gofrestr da o enwau Cymreig gw˙ch ar fen˙waid a gwrr˙waid, ni b˙dd gandd˙nt yr esgus nad oedd˙nt yn gw˙bod am neb enwau Cymreig; a chan fod yn rhaid idd y rhianod gael y flaenoriaeth, dechreuaf efo hw˙nt: -
ENWAU MENYWAIDD CYMREIG

{And since I shall give a good list below of fine Welsh names for males and females, they won’t have the excuse that they didn’t know of any Welsh names; and since the ladies / maidens / girls must have priority, I’ll begin with them }


[NOTE: AFTER THESE ARTICLES APPEARED, WELSH NAMES WERE INCREASINGLY GIVEN TO CHILDREN.

I’VE ADDED SOME COMMENTS TO THE ORIGINAL LIST OF NAMES.

NAMES WHICH ARE / WERE IN COMMON USE AFTER 1825 ARE IN BOLD TYPE.

OTHERS HAVE PROBABLY NEVER BEEN USED. I HAVE PUT ‘NEVER USED’ WITH THE NAMES I’VE NEVER COME ACROSS USED AS A FORENAME; THOUGH ONE OR TWO MAY HAVE BEEN. MOST THOUGH HAVE DEFINITELY NEVER BEEN ADOPTED AS MODERN FORENAMES!

THESE THOUGH ARE SUBJECTIVE COMMENTS - ONE WOULD HAVE TO DO SOME RESEARCH ON NAMES IN WELSH BIRTH CERTIFICATES TO KNOW IF I’M COMPLETEY RIGHT.

MAYBE SOMEONE HAS DONE THIS ALREADY - LET ME KNOW, I’D BE EXTREMELY INTERESTED!]

Anan
(never used)
Angharad
(popular in the 1800s, and 1900s; still popular)
Arddun (never used)
Aregwedd
(never used)
Ceinwen
(popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s)
Canna (never used)
Ceinfron
{in occasional use, ?late 1800s, ?early 1900s}
Creidylad
(never used)
Cw˙log
(never used)
Cyridwen
(as Ceridwen, popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s; still in use today but to a lesser extent)
Diar (? - there’s an ink blotch on my photocopy, but it’s probably this) (never used)
Dolgar
(never used)
Dw˙nwen
(popular in the late 1900s)
Dyf˙r (never used)
Edwen
(probably never used)
Efelino
(never used)
Eig˙r
{ very occasionally as Eigra? in the 1900s}
Eluned
{ very popular, especially in the 1900s}
Elen
{ very popular in the 1900s, including today}
Elgen (never used)
Eleri
{very popular in the 1900s, including today}
Eurdd˙l (proabably never used)
Eneiliau
(never used)
Enid
{ popular in the late 1800s??}
Es˙llt { occasionally used at the beginning of the 1900s}
Eurgain
{ occasionally used today}
Euronw˙
(used very occasionally?)
Fflur
{ occasionally used today}
Gwladus
{ very common in the late 1800s; now regarded as old-fashioned}
Garwen (never used)
Gwenddolen
{ occasionally used in the late 1800s }
Gwenhw˙far
{ occasionally used in the late 1800s }
Gwen
{very common in the 1800s and 1900s and today}
Gwenfron {occasionally used in the late 1800s }
Gwenllian
{ popular in the late 1800s, and to an extent in the 1900s; still given today}
Gwčno
{ popular at the moment, as Gwenno}
Indeg {sometimes found in the early 1900s }
Madr˙n
(never used)
Morfudd
{ popular in the late 1800s, and to an extent in the 1900s; seems a bit old-fashioned today}
Mechell (never used)
Meis˙r
(never used)
Myfanw˙
{ very popular in the late 1800s, and the early 1900s; seems a bit old-fashioned today}
Nefed (never used)
Non
{ popular from around 1980 onwards}
N˙f (never used)
Olwen
{ popular around 1900 }
Perw˙r(never used)
Penarwen
(never used)
Rhiannon
{ popular from late 1800s? Still given today}
Rhelemon (never used)
Rh˙ell
(never used)
Tegďwg
(never used)
Tefrďan
(never used)
Tegwedd
{ occasionally used in the early 1900s }
Tudf˙l
{ fairly popular in the late 1800s in the Merth˙rtudful area}
Ystrawel (never used)


___________________

Yn awr, gofynaf i ddarllenw˙r diduedd y SEREN, onid oes yma enwau llawn hardded ag y rhai Seisnig, &c.? Pa le y cânt harddach enwau nag Anan (yr hwn s˙dd gystal ag Ann, neu Hannah un amser), Angharad, Aregwedd, Gwladus, Olwen, Gwenhw˙far, Eluned, Tefrian {sic}, &c.? Onid yd˙nt lawer gwell no Cati, Sal˙, Beti, Sianw, Nani, &c.?

{ Now I shall ask the impartial readers of the SEREN, aren’t there names here just as attractive as English ones? Where would you find names more attractive than Anan (which is as good as Ann, or Hannah, any time), Angharad, Aregwedd, Gwladus, Olwen, Gwenhw˙far, Eluned, Tefrian {sic}, &c.? Aren’t they a lot better than Cati, Sal˙, Beti, Sianw, Nani, &c.?}


___________________

Ond yn awr af yn mlaen at yr enwau gwrr˙waidd; ac hyderaf y medraf ddangos i bob meddwl diragfarn, fod gen˙m wir enwau Cymreig berted ag a geir mewn un iaith yn y b˙d, ond ymarfer â hw˙.

{ But I’ll go on now to masculine names; and I trust I’ll be able to show every unprejudiced mind that we have Welsh names as appealing as those to be had in any other language in the world, once we become accustomed to them}
Adebon
(never used)
Afan
{ occasionally used at present }
Afaon
(never used)
Anamwd
(never used)
Aneurin
{ occasional examples in the 1900s}
Arthur
{ popular from the late 1800s; still popular, but may be due to the fact that it is also popular in England}
Beli (never used)
Benlli
(never used)
Bledd˙n
{ popular around 1950?}
Brochwel (never used)
Brychan
{ used occasionally at present}
Cadell (never used)
Catwg
(never used)
Cadrod
(never used)
Cadwaladr
{ used now and then in the late 1800s, early 1900s}
Cadwallon (never used)
Cadwgan
(used very occasionally)
Caradog
{ used now and then in the early 1900s}
Caswallon (never used)
Cynedda
(never used)
Cynan
{ occasionally used in the early 1900s?? }
Cynddelw
(never used)
Cynfel˙n
(never used)
Cysten˙n
(never used)
Dewi
{ popular from about ?1850. Still in common use}
Ednyfed { very occasionally used in the 1900s }
Ednywain
(never used)
Efrog
(never used)
Einion
{ sometimes used in the 1900s }
Emr˙s
{ uswas popular in the early 1900s}
Geraint
{ in popular use after about 1950; at present very popular}
Goronw˙
{ used now and then in the 1900s}
Gruff˙dd (or Gruffudd)
{ popular throughout the 1900s, still used}
Gut˙n { occasioanlly used in the 1900s? }
Gwalchmai
(never used)
Gwgan
(never used)
Gwrgan
(never used)
Gwrthe˙rn
(never used)
Hu neu Huw
{ Huwis extremely popular at present, but rarely used in the 1800s}
Hywel
{ popular since the early 1900s; still popular}
Idris
{ popular in the late 1800s and into the mid-1900s}
Idwal
{ used now and then after about 1950}
Iest˙n
{ used now and then after about 1950}
Ifan
{ very popular thhrough the 1900s, and at present }
Ifor
{ introduced in the early 1900s; quite popular at present }
Illt˙d {occasionally used in the 1900s }
Iolo
{ used at present }
Iorwerth
{ fairly popular in the 1900s}
Lleirwg (not used)
Ll˙r
{used at present }
Llywarch
{occasionally used in the late 1800s? }
Llewel˙n
{ very popular since the late 1800s}
Madog
{ used occasionally in the late 1800s? }
Meurig
{ quite popular from the late 1800s onwards }
Merddin [Myrddin] { first used in the early 1900s? quite popular at present }
Mered˙dd
{ quite popular through the 1900s}
Morgan
{ quite popular at present }
Owain
{ very popular at present }
Padrig (never used)
Rhiwallon
(never used)
Rhodri
{ very popular at present }
Rhydderch {occasionally used in the 1900s }
Talhaiarn
(never used)
Taliesin
{ quite popular in the 1800s}
Tudur
{ sometmes used at present }


___________________

Digoned hy`na er cynllun y tro hwn. Os nad oes digon yma er boddiaw pawb, os dymunol f˙dd, gallaf eu hanrhegu â chymaint a hyny eto o enwau gw˙ch a weddant yn eithaf da idd yr oes waraidd hon. Ac, wrth ddybenu, da iawn gen˙f fynegu i fy mrod˙r fod yr arfer wedi dechreu; y mae gen˙m eisoes un neu ddau o yr enw Aneurin, Taliesin, &c. Gw`n am ddau yn Morganwg o’r enw TALIESIN. Gan hyderu weled {sic} gwelliant yn h˙n, y gorphw˙sa
IEUAN DDU O LAN TAWY.

{ That’s sufficient as a first draft (‘for a plan’) this time. There isn’t enough here to satisfy everybody, but if so wished, I can award it with as many splendid names again which will suit this civilised age. And in conclusion, I’m happy to inform my brothers that the practice has begun; we have already one or two called Aneurin, Taliesin, &c. I know of two in Morganwg (Glamorganshire) called TALIESIN. Hoping to see an improvement in this, I remain,
IEUAN DDU O LAN TAWY
.}


___________________

O.Y. Och o fi! Mr. Gomer, beth a wnaf! gadewais y rhan mw˙af {sic} pw˙sig o fy ngwaith heb ei gyflawni! Do, yn wir: anghofiais annerch y Rh˙wogaeth Hawddgar, gan ddaer ddymuno eu c˙dweithrediad â mi, ar y pwnc hwn; can˙s, diau ˙w pan ymosodant hw˙ o brysur at orchw˙l, y llw˙ddant, o fic i ddiflastod a Dic Sion Dafiaeth eu gw˙r!

{ Oh dear me! Mr. Gomer, what am I doing? I left the most important part of my work unfinished. I forgot to address the Gentle Sex, earnestly wishing for their cooperation with me in this matter. Because, without a doubt, when they apply themselves seriously to a task, they succeed, to the ill-feeling and disgust of the Englishness of their husbands.

(The expression Dic Siôn Dafiaeth has its origin in the from the hero of a poem by Jac Glan y Gors (John Jones, Cerrigydrudion 1766-1821) about an illiterate haberdasher - Dic Siôn Daf˙dd - who goes to work in London, becoming the grand Richard John Davies, though through his arrogance and dishonesty he loses all his money and has to return to Wales in poverty. However, he pretends that he can no longer understand Welsh, and refuses to speak to his monolingual Welsh mother. This attitude of despising one’s one people and affecting Englishness is known as - ‘Dic Siôn Daf˙dd-ism’ - Dic Siôn Dafiaeth)}


___________________

”Gw˙laidd [a pha beth a lw˙dda yn deb˙g i W˙lder?] yd˙w beyn˙waid - hen Walia,
Ni welodd fy llygaid
Eu heil˙dd! - “

{ modest (and what succeeds more than Modesty?) are women - of ancient Wales,
My eyes didn’t see
Their equal! }


___________________

”Call, medrus, gweddus, ac addw˙n -
˙’nt hw˙
Neud teg maent yn ymddw˙n!”

{ Clever, capable, decent, gentle
are they
doing fair they act}



___________________

”Gwell hw˙r na hw˙rach;” am hyn˙, wrth ddiweddu, dywedaf, Rianod! cynnorthw˙wch fi! amddiffynwch eich iaith ac eich gwlad! ďe, a pherchwch eich plant, trw˙ roddi idd˙nt enwau gwroniaid a doethion Cymru g˙nt!

{Better late than never; for this reason, in concluding, I say, ladies, help me! defend your language and your country; Yes, respect your children, by giving them the names of heroes and sages of Wales in the old times! }

___________________

Os mynwch, g`wn y llw˙ddwch; eithr os b˙dd rhai o eich meistri mor gorgďaidd a nacáu eich cais i chwi, ar ol gwneuthur eich goreu, na ofidiwch, eithr ymgysurwch, trw˙ feddwl i chwi wneuthur eich dyledsw˙dd, er ichwi fethu yn eich amcan.

{ If you insist, I know you will succeed; but if some of your masters are so churlish as to deny you your request, after doing your best, don’t worry, but console yourself, through thinking that you did your duty, although you failed in your objective}

__________________________________________

 



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