You would think that as an English speaker traveling to the UK, you would be going to a country that speaks the same language as you do…but you’d be wrong. The truth is, a lot of the time, you’ll have no idea what the hell they’re saying.
I remember the first time I heard “minging” and “knackered”. I had no idea what those words meant. But now, I use them all the time.
Ralph likes to say: “We give you the country and we give you the language and you messed the both of them up”.
I will never tire of listening to the Brits talk. But it’s when you blend English and Welsh together that it becomes very interesting. Whether it’s the translation of a Welsh word or phrase or the blending of Welsh and English, it becomes Wenglish and can result in some funny Welsh sayings.
Some of these “sayings” might sound familiar to you. A lot of them I remember from when I was growing up in North Carolina and I never imagined that they were Welsh.
Here are some of the words and sayings from “Wenglish”, words that are bastards of the English and Welsh language. Some of the words are “Welshisms”, sayings you only hear in Wales. But all of them are fun to use. Sprinkle them into your conversations as you go through your day and see what happens….
Used to describe something good or something that gets a thumbs up: “That’s a tidy meal we just had”.
Something that is disgusting and nasty: “Eww…your feet are minging”.
3. By There
Used when you’re trying to tell someone where something is: “Your keys are over by there”.
4. Now in a Minute
Shortly or presently, but probably longer than you think it’ll be: “I’ll be there now…in a minute”.
Defective: “My new couch is a bit wonky”.
An unpleasant taste: “There’s a funny tawch on this cheese”.The Welsh word “tawch” literally means “haze” or “fog”.
To complain or moan: “She’s always grizzling about something or other”.
Creature or thing: “Poor dab, she has to put up with a lot with him”.
9. Cawl Cabbage
A terrible mess: “That playroom is like cawl cabbage”.
A friend: “We’ve been butties since we were little.”
To the limit: “I’m worn to a frazzle”.
12. Hi-ya, Eye-ah
A local greeting
Big: “He’s a lump of a boy!”
Showing complete disbelief: “He got into medical school”, “Never!”
Extremely: “He’s rude beyond!”
Quickly: “I need to go to the toilet sharpish”
17. Right Enough
A pound sterling
Real meaning definite: “He’s done a proper job with that shed”
Shoes: “Put your daps on”
A kitchen sink wash-up: “Why don’t you have a quick bosh before you have your dinner?”
22. Under My Feet
In the way: “Those kids have been under my feet all day.”
In short supply, especially money: “After I paid the rent, I’m a little tight”
24. In his oils
In his element: “When she’s reading, she’s in her oils.”
Difficult to understand: “When I talk to her she’s very deep.”
26. Out the back
In the back garden or at the rear of the house: “She has a nice herb garden out the back.”
Crowded: “We couldn’t get into the club…it was heaving.”
28. Lie in/on
Stay in the bed later than usual: “I’m going to have a lie in tomorrow morning.”
Longing for: “I was sinking for a cup of tea.”
30. Is it?
Used for interrogating: “Going shopping, is it?”
31. Dribs & Drabs
A little at a time: “That shop only gets dribs and drabs in.”
Expensive: “I wanted to get those clogs but they were too salty.”
33. Like a good ‘un
As well as ever: “He’s been eating like a good ‘un lately.”
34. I could eat him!
The ultimate of fondness: “I could eat him, he’s so sweet!”
Doesn’t mean immediately: “I’ll do it now.”
36. Shook rigid
Greatly surprised, shocked: “It shook her rigid when she got fired from her job.”
Talking a great deal: “She was real chopsy.” Something that you don’t want to be.