Welsh Place Names cover

Understanding Welsh Place Names


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Understanding Welsh Place Names

Gwili Gog

What they mean and how to say them

  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 180mm x 120mm
  • Pages: 96
  • ISBN: 978-0-9553557-4-5
  • Published: New edition April 2015

Place names explained — area by area — across the whole of Wales.

Puzzled by Welsh place names but want to know what they mean and how to say them? This fascinating, easy-to-use guide means non-Welsh speakers can now easily translate and understand place names all over Wales — on the map, on road signs, and out in the countryside.

Armed with this insider knowledge, you’ll discover there’s a whole exciting new dimension to the Welsh landscape. In fact, Wales will never be quite the same again ….

Understanding Welsh Place Names takes a refreshing new look at Welsh place names and what they mean.

As well as a full gazetteer of placenames listed county by county across Wales, the book explores common place name elements, or key words, in themed groups. It also looks separately at key themes such as ‘Streams and Rivers’, ‘Inns and Taverns’, ‘Sheep and Shepherds’, and ‘Welsh Chapels’.

Generously illustrated throughout with evocative modern colour photographs, this attractive handbook is a welcome departure from the limited and often inaccurate ‘tourist’ guides, or the overly academic tomes aimed mainly at Welsh scholars.


  1. Wales: A Land Apart
  2. Pronouncing Welsh Placenames
  3. Keywords: Welsh Placename Elements
  4. Describing the Land
  5. In the Mountains
  6. In the Valley
  7. By the Water
  8. On the Coast
  9. Church and Chapel
  10. Birds and Beasts
  11. Picture This: Names in the Landscape
  12. Place names by Modern County
  13. Isle of Anglesey/Ynys Mon
  14. Did You Know?: The Longest Place Name in Wales
  15. Conwy
  16. Denbighshire/Dinbych
  17. Flintshire/Fflint
  18. Wrexham/Wrecsam
  19. Did You Know?: How Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa got its Name
  20. Gwynedd
  21. Did You Know?: The Legend of Gelert’s Grave
  22. Ceredigion
  23. Powys
  24. Pembrokeshire/Penfro
  25. Carmarthenshire/Caerfyrddin
  26. Swansea/Abertawe
  27. Neath, Port Talbot/Castell-nedd
  28. Port Talbot
  29. Rhondda Cynon Taf
  30. Merthyr Tydfil/Merthyr Tudful
  31. Caerphilly/Caerffili
  32. Blaenau Gwent
  33. Torfaen
  34. Bridgend/Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr
  35. Vale of Glamorgan/Bro Morgannwg
  36. Cardiff/Caerdydd
  37. Newport/Casnewydd
  38. Monmouthshire/Mynwy

An Ancient Language
Ancestral Spirits?
Body of the Land
Hills and Mountains
Woods and Trees
Bogs and Marshes
Ancient Animals
Vanished Wildlife
Colours in the Countryside
Weapons and Warfare
Forts and Castles
River Goddesses
Streams and Rivers
Wild Water?
Watermills and Windmills
Fords, Ferries and Bridges
On the Road
Inns and Taverns
Smiths and Smithies
Summer and Winter Homes
Huts, Houses and Halls
Sheep and Shepherds
Cattle and Pigs
Holy Wells
Hermits and Holymen
Early Churches
Places of Worship
Monks and Monasteries
Viking Placenames
Mines and Quarries
Welsh Chapels
Norman Placenames
English Placenames
Funny Placenames
Naming America?


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