The aim of this site is to provide a convenient resource for checking whether English place-names in Wales have a corresponding Welsh form.
The site is based on an easily searchable interactive database. When relevant entries are available, a definition, information regarding location (parish, county, unitary authority) and a grid reference are provided.
Liability and copyright
The Enwau Cymru website does not come with a warranty or even the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. In addition Bangor University will not be liable to you for special, financial, consequential, incidental or indirect damages.
Bangor Univeristy owns the IP on the Welsh placenames database used by the website.
The Welsh Government owns the copyright on the Place-Name Standardization Guidelines.
A word about the forms
The forms of place-names offered here are recommendations. The intention of this website isn’t to lay down the law regarding the correctness or otherwise of forms.
At present, cities, towns, villages and parishes are included in the database. It isn’t yet fully comprehensive; further entries are constantly being added to the database. The names of rivers, mountains and other topographical features will be added soon. A collection of the coastal names of Wales was added on the 31st of March 2009. Information about this work, including the methodology and background, can be found on the Names of Welsh Coastal Features page.
While putting the list together, several different sources were referred to and, because these sources weren’t always consistent with regard to the forms offered, a choice had to be made between them. Consequently, when choosing recommended forms, the guidelines of the Welsh Language Board’s Place-Names Standardization Team were followed whenever possible (see below):
Place-Name Standardization Guidelines
1. Standard orthography
The current principles of standard Welsh language orthography should be followed. The Place-names Standardization Team acknowledges the authority of Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (The University of Wales Dictionary of the Welsh Language) in matters pertaining to the orthography of the Welsh language, and the forms given in the Dictionary should be followed as far as possible. However, the Team has recommended using a circumflex in some names – contrary to the rules of orthography – in order to avoid ambiguity and ensure correct pronunciation (Yr Hôb, Aberbîg).
2. A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names
As a starting point, forms recommended in Elwyn Davies, Rhestr o Enwau Lleoedd/A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names (University of Wales Press, 1967) should be acknowledged, alongside the previous recommendations of the Welsh Language Board’s Place-Names Standardization Team. The Gazetteer is the standard reference work for Welsh place-names. Consequently one should not deviate from its recommendations without good reason. However, as many settlements, suburbs and towns have developed since 1967, and the linguistic situation in Wales has changed, the Team must interpret the forms given in the Gazetteer. The remainder of this document is an attempt to formalize and interpret the conventions used in the Gazetteer.
3. The hyphen
4. One word or more?
5. Personal names
The forms of personal names should be taken into consideration since they can have a bearing on orthography (Llan-non, Pochin, Cei Connah). The exception Morriston/Treforys should be noted however.
Pedantic or revived antiquarian forms and literal or whimsical translations should be avoided unless there is sound evidence that they are in common use both locally and nationally (Brychdyn, Cei Connah, Cil-y-coed).
7. Standard orthography
Dialectal or local evidence should be taken into consideration with regard to orthography, pronunciation or stress, especially if a local form has been adopted nationally (Dole, Pencader, Cwm Cou, Froncysyllte). However standard orthography should be used as far as possible, since it should be borne in mind that place-names belong to the whole of Wales and that the name, or an element of that name, may also appear in many parts of Wales: (Cadair [Idris], Blaenau [Gwent], Y Waun).
8. Dual forms
If the difference between the Welsh form and the ‘English’ form consists of only one or two letters, the use of a single form is recommended, with preference being given to the Welsh form. This accords with the recommendations of the Ordnance Survey and the Highway Authorities. However, recognized variations should be acknowledged (Caeriw/Carew, Biwmares/Beaumaris, Y Fflint/Flint, Wrecsam/Wrexham).
9. The Welsh definite article (y/yr/’r)
10. The dieresis on penultimate stressed 'i'
Where the last element is disyllabic, no dieresis is required (Caerllion, Llanrhian, Llwynypia) unless the pronunciation is ambiguous (Gïas, Llangïan (cf. gïau)); if the final element is longer than a disyllable, a dieresis is required (Cwmsyfïog, Llandybïe).