Old Welsh Proverbs, Sayings and Phrases

Old Welsh Proverbs, Sayings and Phrases

We are a wise bunch! Here are a few old Welsh expressions. Feel free to add your own favourites in the comment section below!

"A fo ben, bid bont" - If you want to be a leader, be a bridge

"Bûm gall unwaith - hynny oedd, llefain pan ym ganed" - I was wise once: when I was born I cried

"Cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon" - A nation without a language is a nation without a heart

"Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau." - Starting the work is two thirds of it

"Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg" - Tapping persistently breaks the stone

"Digrif gan bob aderyn ei lais ei hun" - Every bird relishes his own voice

"Dywed yn dda am dy gyfaill, am dy elyn dywed ddim" - Speak well of your friend; of your enemy say nothing

"Eang yw'r byd i bawb." The world is wide to everyone

"Gwna dda dros ddrwg, uffern ni'th ddwg" - Repay evil with good, and hell will not claim you

"Gwell dysg na golud" - Better educated than wealthy

"Gwell fy mwthyn fy hun na phlas arall" - Better my own cottage than the palace of another

"Gorau prinder, prinder geiriau" - The best shortage is a shortage of words

"Gorau Cymro, Cymro oddi Cartref"  - Best Welshman, Welshman from Home

"Gorau adnabod, d'adnabod dy hun." - The best knowledge is to know yourself

"Hedyn pob drwg yw diogi" - The seed of all evil is laziness

"Heb ei fai, heb ei eni" - He who has no faults is not born

"Hir yw pob ymaros" - All waiting is long

"Nid aur yw popeth melyn" - Everything that is yellow is not gold

"Nerth gwlad, ei gwybodaeth" - The strength of a nation is its knowledge

"Teg yw edrych tuag adref." - It is good to look homewards

"Tri chysir henaint: tân, te a thybaco" - Three comforts of old age: fire, tea and tobacco

"Tyfid maban, ni thyf ei gadachan" - The child will grow, his clothes will not

"Yr hen a ŵyr a'r ieuanc a dybia" -The old know and the young suspect

"Y mae dafad ddu ym mhob praidd" - Every flock has its black sheep

"Mae tegell yn ferwi and ty'n barod." - The kettles boiling and I'm ready.

"Dod yn ôl at fy nghoed" - To return to my trees - to relax and unwind, to calm your mind

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14 comments

Mae yna fwy na un ffordd o rhoid Will yn I wely.

Emma williams

My grandmother was from Wales. I would like to have the phrase “A place for the soul to find peace” into welsh. Thank you

Deborah Noland

What does this mean?

Teg Yw Heddwch

Judy Gilbert

Can anyone remember a rhyme song from school; starts with ‘Mae hi’n wedi bod yn between eira’? I’m trying to find it for an English friend named Eira by her welsh father (rip), & been unable to find it anywhere. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Mari Dennis

Aled, is this the poem you’re looking for?

Fini, Fini, fawd
Brawd y Fini fawd,
Wili Bibi,
Siôn Babw,
Bys bach druan gŵr,
Dal ’i ben o dan y dŵr.

Which roughly translates as:

Big vinny
Big Vinny’s brother
Will the smaller one
John the baby
and the little toe.
[pitiful man,
broke his head while carrying water.]

Gideon Hodge

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