CUMBRIC was a variety of the
Common Brittonic language spoken during
Early Middle Ages in the
Hen Ogledd or "Old North" in what is now
Northern England and southern Lowland
Scotland . It was closely
Old Welsh and the other
Brittonic languages . Place name
Cumbric may also have been spoken as far south as
Pendle and the
Yorkshire Dales . The prevailing view is that it became
extinct in the 12th century, after the incorporation of the
Kingdom of Strathclyde into the Kingdom of
* 1 Problems with terminology
* 2 Available evidence
* 2.1 Place names
* 2.3 Scots and English
* 3 Equivalence with
* 3.1 Retention of Brittonic *rk
* 3.2 Retention of Brittonic *mb
* 3.3 Syncope
* 3.4 Devoicing
* 3.5 Loss of /w/
* 3.6 Semantics of Penn
* 3.7 Definite article
* 3.8 Absence of -ydd
* 3.9 Use of the name element Gos-
* 4 Date of extinction
* 5 Attempted revival
* 5.1 Sample text
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
PROBLEMS WITH TERMINOLOGY
Dauvit Broun sets out the problems with the various terms used to
Cumbric language and its speakers. The people seem to
have called themselves *Cumbri the same way that the Welsh call
themselves Cymry (most likely from Brittonic *kom-brogī meaning
"fellow countrymen"). It is likely that the Welsh and the Cumbric
speaking people of what are now southern
Scotland and northern England
felt they were actually one ethnic group.
Old Irish speakers called
them "Britons", Bretnach or Bretain. The Norse called them Brettar.
In Medieval Latin, the English term
Wales and the term Cumbri were
Latinised as Wallenses "of Wales" and respectively Cumbrenses "of
Cumbria ". The usual English usage was to call them Welsh. In Scots,
Cumbric speaker seems to have been called Wallace, from the Scots
Wallis/Wellis "Welsh". The
Cumbric region: modern counties and
regions with the early mediæval kingdoms
Cumbria itaque: regione quadam inter Angliam et Scotiam sita –
"Cumbria: a region situated between England and Scotland".
The Latinate term
Cambria is often used for Wales; nevertheless, the
Life of St Kentigern by
Jocelyn of Furness has the following passage:
When King Rederech (
Rhydderch Hael ) and his people had heard that
Kentigern had arrived from Wallia into
Cambria , from exile into his
own country, with great joy and peace both king and people went out to
John T. Koch defines the specifically
Cumbric region as "the area
approximately between the line of the river Mersey and the Forth-Clyde
isthmus", but goes on to include evidence from the Wirral peninsula in
his discussion and does not define its easterly extent. Kenneth
Cumbric as "the Brittonic dialect of
Westmorland , northern
Lancashire , and south-west Scotland..." and
goes on to define the region further as being bound in the north by
the Firth of Clyde, in the south by the river Ribble and in the east
by the Southern Scottish Uplands and the Pennine ridge.
The evidence from
Cumbric comes to us almost entirely through
secondary sources, since there are no contemporary written records of
the language. The majority of evidence comes from place names of the
extreme northwest of England and the south of Scotland. Other sources
include the personal names of Strathclyde Britons in Scottish, Irish
and Anglo-Saxon sources, and a few
Cumbric words surviving into the
High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages in southwest
Scotland as legal terms. Although the
language is long extinct it is arguable that traces of its vocabulary
have persisted into the modern era in the form of "counting scores"
and in a handful of dialectal words.
From this scanty evidence, little can be deduced about the singular
characteristics of Cumbric, not even the name by which its speakers
referred to it. What is generally agreed upon by linguists is that
Cumbric was a Western Brittonic language closely related to Welsh and,
more distantly, to Cornish and Breton .
It is believed that around the time of the battle described in the
Y Gododdin ,
Common Brittonic was transitioning into its daughter
North Britain ,
Old Welsh in
Wales , and
Southwestern Brittonic , the ancestor of Cornish and Breton. Kenneth
Jackson concludes that the majority of changes that transformed
British into Primitive Welsh belong to the period from the middle of
the fifth to the end of the sixth century. This involved syncope and
the loss of final syllables. If the poem dates to this time, it would
have been written in an early form of Cumbric, the usual name for the
Brythonic speech of the Hen Ogledd. Jackson suggested the name
"Primitive Cumbric" for the dialect spoken at the time.
Cumbric place names are found in
Scotland south of the firths of
Forth and Clyde. Brittonic names north of this line are Pictish . They
are also found commonly in the historic county of
bordering areas of Northumberland. They are less common in
Westmorland, with some in
Lancashire and the adjoining areas of North
Yorkshire. As we approach Cheshire, late Brittonic placenames are
probably better described as being Welsh rather than Cumbric. As noted
below, however, any clear distinction between
Cumbric and Welsh is
difficult to prove. For references see Armstrong et al., Watson and
Jackson. There remain many Brittonic place-names in northern England
which should not be described as
Cumbric because they originate from a
period before Brittonic split into its daughter dialects e.g. Welsh,
Cornish, Breton and – arguably – Cumbric.
Some of the principal towns and cities of the region have names of
Cumbric origin including:
* BATHGATE , West Lothian. Meaning 'boar wood' (Welsh baedd "wild
boar" + coed "forest, wood").
* CARLISLE , Cumbria. recorded as Luguvalium in the Roman period;
the word caer "fort" was added later. The Welsh form Caerliwelydd is
derived by regular sound changes from the Romano-British name.
* GLASGOW , Scotland. From words equivalent to Welsh glas gau
"green hollow" (possibly that below
Glasgow Cathedral )
* LANARK , Lanarkshire. From the equivalent of Welsh llannerch
* PENICUIK , Midlothian. From words meaning "hill of the cuckoo" (W.
pen y gog).
* PENRITH , Cumbria. Meaning "chief ford" (Welsh pen "head; chief" +
There are several supposed
Cumbric elements which occur repeatedly in
place names of the region. The following table lists some of them
according to the modern Welsh equivalent:
end, point, summit; source of river
Blencathra, Blencogow, Blindcrake, Blencarn
fort, stronghold; wall, rampart
Carlisle, Cardew, Cardurnock, Carfrae, Cargo, Carlanrig, Carriden,
Castle Carrock, Cathcart, Caerlaverock, Cardonald, Cramond, Carleith
trees, forest, wood
Bathgate, Dalkeith, Culgaith, Tulketh, Culcheth, Pencaitland,
Penketh, Towcett, Dankeith, Culgaith, Culcheth, Cheadle, Cheetham,
Cathcart, Cheetwood, Cathpair, Kincaid, Inchkeith
deep narrow valley; hollow, bowl-shaped depression
Cumrew, Cumwhitton, Cumwhinton, Cumdivock
Drumlanrig, Dundraw, Mindrum, Drumburgh, Drem, Drumaben
?Eaglesfield, Ecclefechan, Ecclesmachan, Eccleston, Eccles,
Terregles, Egglescliffe, Eggleshope, Ecclaw, Ecclerigg, Dalreagle,
Barlanark, Carlanrig, Drumlanrig, Lanark, Lanercost
bald; (bare) mountain/hill, summit
Mellor, Melrose, Mallerstang
head; top, summit; source of stream; headland; chief, principal
Pennygant Hill, Pen-y-Ghent, Penrith, Penruddock, Pencaitland,
Penicuik, Penpont, Penketh, Pendle, Penshaw, Pemberton, Penistone,
Penketh, Pen-bal Crag
tree; timber; cross
Traprain Law, Barnbougle, Pirn, Pirncader, Pirniehall, Pirny Braes,
town, homestead, estate, township
Longniddry, Niddrie, Ochiltree, Soutra, Terregles, Trabroun,
Trailtrow, Tranent, Traprain Law, Traquair, Treales, Triermain,
Trostrie, Troughend, ?Trafford, Tranew, ?Bawtry
Cumbric names have historically been replaced by Gaelic or
English equivalents and in some cases the different forms occur in the
Edinburgh occurs in early Welsh texts as Din Eidyn and in medieval
Scottish records as Dunedene (Gaelic Dùn Èideann), all meaning "fort
Falkirk similarly has several alternative medieval forms meaning
"speckled church": Eglesbreth etc. from
Cumbric (Welsh eglwys fraith);
Eiglesbrec etc. from Gaelic (modern Gaelic eaglais bhreac); Faukirk
etc. from Scots (
Old English fāg cirice).
Kirkintilloch began as a
Cumbric name recorded as Caerpentaloch in
the 10th century, but was partly replaced by the Gaelic words ceann
"head" + tulach "hillock" later on.
* Kinneil derives from Gaelic ceann fhàil "head of the Wall" but
it was recorded by
Nennius as Penguaul (Welsh pen gwawl) and by Bede
as Peanfahel, which appears to be a merger of British and Gaelic.
Yan tan tethera
Counting systems of possible
Cumbric origin, modern Welsh included
Among the evidence that
Cumbric served as a substratum that
influenced local English dialects are a group of counting systems, or
scores, recorded in various parts of northern England. Around 100 of
these systems have been collected since the 18th century; the
scholarly consensus is that these derive from a Brittonic language
closely related to Welsh. Though they are often referred to as
"sheep-counting numerals", most recorded scores were not used to count
sheep, but in knitting or for children\'s games or nursery rhymes .
These scores are often suggested to represent a survival from medieval
Cumbric, a theory first popularized in the 19th century. However,
later scholars came to reject this idea, suggesting instead that the
scores were later imports from either
Scotland , but in light
of the dearth of evidence for any of these theories, Markku Filppula,
Juhani Klemola, and Heli Paulasto note that it remains plausible that
the counting systems are indeed of
SCOTS AND ENGLISH
A number of words occurring in the Scots and Northern English
variants of English have been proposed as being of possible Brittonic
origin. Ascertaining the real derivation of these words is far from
simple, due in part to the similarities between some cognates in the
Goidelic languages and the fact that borrowing took
place in both directions between these languages. Another difficulty
lies with other words which were taken into
Old English , as in many
cases it is impossible to tell whether the borrowing is directly from
Brittonic or not (see BROGAT, CRAG). The following are possibilities:
* BACH – cowpat (cf Welsh baw "dung", Gaelic buadhar)
* BAIVENJAR – mean fellow (Welsh bawyn "scoundrel")
* BRAT – apron. The word is found in Welsh ("rag, clout; pinafore"
), Scots and northern English dialects but may be an Old English
Old Irish .
* BROGAT – a type of mead (Welsh bragod "bragget" – also found
in Chaucer )
* COBLE – small, flat-bottomed boat (also in Northeast England),
akin to Welsh ceubal "a hollow" and Latin caupulus
* CRAG – rocks. Either from Brittonic (Welsh craig) or Goidelic
Scottish Gaelic creag).
* CROOT – a small boy (Welsh crwt, Gaelic cruit "someone small and
* CROUDE – type of small harp (as opposed to a clàrsach ; Welsh
crwth "fiddle ", Gaelic croit)
* LUM – Scottish word for chimney (
Middle Welsh llumon "chimney",
Gaelic laom or laoman)
EQUIVALENCE WITH OLD WELSH
The linguistic term CUMBRIC is defined according to geographical
rather than linguistic criteria: that is, it refers to the variety of
Brittonic spoken within a particular region of
North Britain and
implies nothing about that variety except that it was geographically
distinct from other varieties. This has led to a discussion about the
Cumbric and its relationship with other Brittonic languages,
in particular with
Old Welsh .
Linguists appear undecided as to whether
Cumbric should be considered
a separate language, or a dialect of Old Welsh. Koch calls it a
dialect but goes on to say that some of the place names in the Cumbric
region "clearly reflect a developed medieval language, much like
Welsh, Cornish or Breton". Jackson also calls it a dialect but points
out that "to call it Pr W would be inaccurate", so clearly views it
as distinct in some meaningful respect.
It has been suggested that
Cumbric was more closely aligned to the
Pictish language than to Welsh, though there is considerable debate
regarding the classification of that language. On the basis of place
name evidence it has also been proposed that all three languages were
The whole question is made more complex because there is no consensus
as to whether any principled distinction can be made between languages
and dialects .
Below, some of the proposed differences between
Cumbric and Old Welsh
RETENTION OF BRITTONIC *RK
In Welsh, Cornish, and Breton, the
Common Brittonic cluster *rk was
spirantized to /rx/ (Welsh rch, Cornish rgh, Breton rc'h) but a number
of place names appear to show
Cumbric retained the stop in this
Lanercost are thought to contain the equivalent
of Welsh llannerch 'clearing'.
There is evidence to the contrary, however, including the place names
Powmaughan and Maughanby (containing Welsh Meirchion) and the word
kelchyn (related to Welsh cylch). Jackson concludes that the change
Common Brittonic *rk > /rx/ "may have been somewhat later in
RETENTION OF BRITTONIC *MB
There is evidence to suggest that the consonant cluster mb remained
Cumbric later than the time it was assimilated to mm in
Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. The cluster remains in:
Old English Cumbraland "land of Cumbrians" (from Common Brittonic
*kombrogi, from whence Welsh Cymru "Wales" also originates).
* Crombocwater and Crombokwatre, two 14th-century records of
Crummock Water and Crombok an 1189 record for Crummack Dale in
Common Brittonic *Crumbāco- "curved one" (W crwm
* Cam Beck, the name of a stream in north
Cumbria recorded as Camboc
(1169) and believed to be from
Common Brittonic *Cambāco- "crooked
stream" (W cam, CB kamm).
* Crimple Beck, Yorkshire, which is said to derive from Common
Brittonic. *Crumbopull- "crooked pool". Here the b is assumed to have
survived late enough to cause provection .
Jackson notes that only in the north does the cluster appear in place
names borrowed after circa 600AD and concludes that it may have been a
later dialectal survival here.
Jackson notes the legal term galnys, equivalent to Welsh galanas ,
may show syncope of internal syllables to be a feature of Cumbric.
Further evidence is wanting, however.
James mentions that devoicing appears to be a feature of many
Cumbric place names. Devoicing of word final consonants is a feature
of modern Breton and, to an extent, Cornish. Watson notes initial
devoicing in Tinnis Castle (in
Drumelzier ) (compare Welsh dinas
'fortress, city') as an example of this, which can also be seen in the
Tintagel , din 'fort'.
There is also a significant number of place names which do not
support this theory. Devoke Water and Cumdivock (< Dyfoc, according to
Ekwall) and Derwent (<
Common Brittonic Derwentiō) all have initial
/d/. The name Calder (< Brit. *Caletodubro-) in fact appears to show a
Cumbric consonant where Welsh has Calettwr by provection ,
which Jackson believes reflects an earlier stage of pronunciation.
Jackson also notes that
Old English had no internal or final /g/, so
would be borrowed with /k/ by sound substitution. This can be seen in
names with c, k, ck (e.g. Cocker < Brittonic *kukro-, Eccles <
Brittonic eglēsia ).
LOSS OF /W/
Cumbric personal names Gospatrick, Gososwald and Gosmungo meaning
'servant of St...' (Welsh, Cornish, Breton gwas 'servant, boy') and
the Galloway dialect word gossock 'short, dark haired inhabitant of
Wigtownshire' (W. gwasog 'a servant' ) apparently show that the
Cumbric equivalent of Welsh and Cornish gwas and the occurrence in
Gospatrick's Writ of the word wassenas 'dependants', thought to be
from the same word gwas, is evidence against Jackson's theory. Koch
notes that the alternation between gwa- and go- is common among the
Brittonic languages and does not amount to a systematic sound change
in any of them.
SEMANTICS OF PENN
Book of Aneirin , a poem entitled "Peis Dinogat" (possibly set
Lake District of
Cumbria ), contains a usage of the word penn
"head" (attached to the names of several animals hunted by the
protagonist), that is unique in medieval Welsh literature and may,
according to Koch, reflect
Cumbric influence ("eferring to a single
animal in this way is otherwise found only in Breton, and we have no
evidence that the construction ever had any currency in the
present-day Wales"). The relevant lines are: Pan elei dy dat ty e
vynyd Dydygei ef penn ywrch penn gwythwch penn hyd Penn grugyar vreith
o venyd Penn pysc o rayadyr derwennyd
Translated as: When your father went to mountain He brought a head
of buck, head of wild pig, head of stag Head of speckled grouse from
mountain Head of fish from falls of Derwent
The form derwennydd however, is at odds with the absence of the
ending -ydd noted below.
Brittonic languages have different forms of the definite
article : Welsh yr, y, Cornish an, and Breton an, ar, al. These are
all taken to derive from an unstressed form of the Common Brittonic
demonstrative *sindos, altered by assimilation (compare the Gaelic
articles ). Throughout
Old Welsh the article is ir (or -r after a
vowel), but there is evidence in
Cumbric for an article in -n
alongside one in -r. Note the following:
Cumbria (Talentir 1200–25): 'brow/end of the land'
(Welsh tal y tir)
Cumbria (Trewermain, Treverman c 1200): 'homestead at
the stone' (Welsh tre(f) y maen)
Lancashire (Treueles 1086): possibly 'village of the
court' (Welsh tre(f) y llys). But note Treflys,
Powys which has no
Yorkshire (Penegent 1307): 'hill of the border
country' (Welsh pen y gaint). The final element is disputed. Ekwall
says it is identical to
Kent (< Br *Kantion), which is related to
Welsh cant 'rim, border', though Mills gives 'coastal district' or
'land of the hosts or armies' for the county.
* Traquair, Borders (Treverquyrd 1124): 'homestead on the River
Quair' (Welsh tre(f) y Quair).
Midlothian (Penicok 1250): 'hill of the cuckoo' (Welsh
pen y cog)
Wirral Peninsula (Lisenecark 1260): possibly 'court of
the rock' (Welsh llys y garreg), but also suggested is Irish lios na
carraige of identical meaning. Although Koch cites this as an example
of Cumbric, it lies outside his own definition of the
ABSENCE OF -YDD
Of all the names of possible
Cumbric derivation, few are more certain
than Carlisle and Derwent which can be directly traced back to their
Romano-British recorded forms Luguvalium and Derventio.
The modern and medieval forms of Carlisle (Luel c1050, Cardeol 1092,
Karlioli c1100 (in the
Medieval Latin genitive case ), Cærleoil 1130)
and Derwent (Deorwentan stream c890 (Old English), Derewent) suggest
derivations from Br *Luguvaljon and *Derwentjō. But the Welsh forms
Caerliwelydd and Derwennydd are derived from alternative forms
*Luguvalijon, *Derwentijō which gave the -ydd ending. This appears
to show a divergence between
Cumbric and Welsh at a relatively early
If this was an early dialectal variation, it can't be applied as a
universal sound law, as the equivalent of W mynydd 'mountain' occurs
in a number of
Cumbric names with the spirant intact: E.g. Mindrum
(Minethrum 1050) from 'mountain ridge' (Welsh mynydd trum). It might
also be noted that Medieval Welsh forms of Caerliwelydd and
Derwennydd both occur in poems of supposed Cumbrian origin whose
rhyme and metre would be disrupted if the ending were absent.
USE OF THE NAME ELEMENT GOS-
One particularly distinctive element of
Cumbric is the repeated use
of the element Gos- or Cos- (W. gwas 'boy, lad; servant, attendant')
in personal names, followed by the name of a saint. The practice is
reminiscent of Gaelic names such as Maol Choluim "Malcolm" and Gille
Crìosd "Gilchrist", which have
Scottish Gaelic maol (
Old Irish máel
'bald, tonsured; servant') and gille (servant, lad', <
Old Irish gilla
The most well-known example of this
Cumbric naming practice is
Gospatric, which occurs as the name of several notable Anglo-Scottish
noblemen in the 11th and 12th centuries. Other examples, standardised
from original sources, include Gosmungo (
Saint Mungo ), Gososwald
Oswald of Northumbria ) and Goscuthbert (
DATE OF EXTINCTION
It is impossible to give an exact date of the extinction of Cumbric.
However, there are some pointers which may give a reasonably accurate
estimate. In the mid-11th century, some landowners still bore what
appear to be
Cumbric names. Examples of such landowners are Dunegal
(Dyfnwal), lord of Strathnith or
Nithsdale ; Moryn (Morien), lord of
Cardew and Cumdivock near Carlisle; and Eilifr (Eliffer), lord of
There is a village near Carlisle called
Cumquinton). This appears to contain the Norman name Quinton. There
were no Normans in this area until 1069 at the earliest.
Battle of the Standard
Battle of the Standard in 1138, the Cumbrians are noted as a
separate ethnic group. Given that their material culture was very
similar to their Gaelic and Anglian neighbours, it is arguable that
what set them apart was still their language. Also the castle at
Castle Carrock – Castell Caerog – dates from around 1160–1170.
Barmulloch , earlier Badermonoc (
Cumbric "monk's dwelling" ), was
given to the church by Malcolm IV of
Scotland between 1153 and 1165.
A more controversial point is the surname Wallace. It means
"Welshman". It is possible that all the Wallaces in the Clyde area
were medieval immigrants from Wales, but given that the term was also
used for local
Cumbric speaking Strathclyde Welsh it seems equally if
not more likely that the surname refers to people who were seen as
being "Welsh" due to their
Cumbric language. Surnames in
not inherited before 1200 and not regularly until 1400. William
Wallace (known in Gaelic as Uilleam Breatnach – namely William the
Briton or Welshman) came from the Renfrew area – itself a Cumbric
name. Wallace slew the sheriff of
Lanark (also a
Cumbric name) in
1297. Even if he had inherited the surname from his father, it is
possible that the family spoke
Cumbric within memory in order to be
There are also some historical pointers to a continuing separate
ethnic identity. Prior to being crowned king of
Scotland in 1124,
David I was invested with the title Prince of the Cumbrians. William
the Lion between 1173–1180 made an address to his subjects,
identifying the Cumbrians as a separate group. This does not prove
that any of them still spoke
Cumbric at this time.
The legal documents in the
Lanercost Cartulary, dating from the late
12th century, show witnesses with Norman French or English names, and
Cumbric names. Though these people represent the upper
classes, it seems significant that by the late 12th century in the
Cumbric is not obvious in these personal names. In
1262 in Peebles, jurymen in a legal dispute over peat cutting also
have names which mostly appear Norman French or English, but possible
exceptions are Gauri Pluchan, Cokin Smith and Robert Gladhoc, where
Gladhoc has the look of an adjective similar to Welsh "gwladog" =
"countryman". In the charters of
Wetherall Priory near Carlisle there
is a monk called Robert Minnoc who appears as a witness to 8 charters
dating from around 1260. His name is variously spelled
Minnoc/Minot/Mynoc and it is tempting to see an equivalent of the
Welsh "mynach" – "Robert the Monk" here.
Given that the Anglicisation of the upper classes in general has
happened before the Anglicisation of the peasantry in other areas
which have given up speaking
Celtic languages it is not implausible
that the peasantry continued to speak
Cumbric for at least a little
while after. Around 1200 there is a list of the names of men living in
the area of
Peebles . Amongst them are
Cumbric names such as
Gospatrick: servant or follower of
Saint Patrick , Gosmungo: servant
Saint Mungo , Guososwald: servant of
Oswald of Northumbria and
Goscubrycht: servant of
Cuthbert . Two of the saints – Oswald and
Cuthbert — are from Northumbria showing influence on
found in Welsh.
The royal seal of Alexander III of
Scotland (who reigned 4 September
1241 – 19 March 1286) bore the title "Rex Scotorum et Britanniarum",
or "King of Scots and Britons".
Edward I of England
Edward I of England prohibited the Leges inter Brettos et
Scottos . The term Brets or Britons refers to the native,
Cumbric speaking people of southern Scotland.
It seems that
Cumbric could well have survived into the middle of the
12th century as a community language and even lasted into the 13th on
the tongues of the last remaining speakers. Certain areas seem to be
particularly dense in
Cumbric place-names even down to very minor
features. The two most striking of these are around
Lanercost east of
Carlisle and around Torquhan south of Edinburgh. If the 1262 names
Peebles do contain traces of
Cumbric personal names then we can
Cumbric dying out between 1250 and 1300 at the very latest.
In the 2000s, a group of enthusiasts proposed a revival of the
Cumbric language and launched a social networking site and a "revived
Cumbric" guidebook to promote it but with little success. Writing in
Carn magazine, Colin Lewis noted that there was disagreement in the
group about whether to base "revived Cumbric" on the surviving sources
for the language or try to reconstruct the form Late
Cumbric may have
taken after the attested period, but his own suggestion was simply to
Modern Welsh , with its rich literature, culture and history.
A sample text of a medieval poem written in reconstructed Cumbric
based on the language at around 500 CE, with a translation by the poet
Anthony Conran .
RECONSTRUCTED 6TH CENTURY CUMBRIC
ENGLISH POETIC TRANSLATION
Pes Dinngat iw breth-vreth
Pais Dinogad fraith, fraith,
Dinogad’s smock is pied, pied,
O groon beleet bann wreth
O grwyn balaod fe’i gwnaeth
Made it out of marten hide,
Hwit hwit hwidogaeth
Chwit, chwit chwibanaeth
Whit, whit, whistle along,
Goganoun, gogenent ooth- geath
Goganwn, gogenynt wyth gaeth.
Eight slaves with you sing the song.
Pann elhey de dat du helgho
Pan elai dy dad i hela
When your dad went to hunt
Lath gor is koot, lorgh in i law,
Llath ar ei ysgwydd, llory yn ei law,
Spear on his shoulder, cudgel in hand
Ev gelwey cun gogukuk
Ef a elwai gŵn go gyflym,
He called his quick dogs, “Giff you wretch,
Gaf, Gaf, dalgh, dalgh, duk, duk!
Giff, Gaff, dal hi, dal hi, dwg, dwg!
Gaff, catch her, catch her, fetch, fetch.”
Ev ladhey pesk ing coruk
Ef a leddai bysgod yng nghorwg
From a coracle he’d spear
Mal bann ladh lew luwyuk
Fel y llew yn lladd y lluyg,
Fish as a lion strikes a deer.
Pan elhey de dat du vinidh
Pan elai dy dad i fynydd
When your dad went to the crag
Didhugey ev penn ywrch, penn goethich, penn hidh
Deuai ag ef iwrch, twrch coed a hydd,
He brought down roebuck, boar and stag,
Penn grougyar vreeth o vinidh,
Grugiar fraith o fynydd,
Speckled grouse from mountain tall,
Penn pisk o raedir Derwentidh
Pysgod o raeadr Derwenydd
Fish from Derwent waterfall.
Er soal e curhadhey de dat ay gigwen
O’r sawl a gyraeddai dy dad â’i gigwain
Those your dad found with his spear,
O woothuch a lewin a loonen
O wythwch a llewyn a llwynog
Boar or wild cat, fox or deer,
Ne heangey oll ne owr aden.
Ni ddiangai’r un ond ar adain.
Unless it flew it would never get clear.
Kenneth H. Jackson
Kingdom of Strathclyde
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