Going beyond normal language usage, slang is defined as an informal type of speech. Every language in the world has its own slang and some regions even have their own unique slang. Wales is no different and has a language all its own as well as English, Welsh slang can be in English, Welsh, or some hybrid of the two. In some cases, Welsh slang terms can be very similar to those in British or American English but have completely different meanings. We’ve identified ten of our favorite Welsh slang words below and you can share your own favorites with us in the comments.
Cwtch is a Welsh language word and doesn’t have an English language equivalent if you try to translate it, but both Welsh and English speakers in the country understand it well. Cwtch is basically a hug, but a very specific kind. It’s the kind of warm embrace you reserve for family and friends, something that makes them feel safe and loved.
In English, the word lush can mean someone who likes their alcohol a little too much, but in Wales, it takes on an entirely different interpretation. Instead, lush can mean something very nice but it can also mean something totally awesome. The extend of how great something is will really depend on the context.
Chopsing is one of those unique words that basically amounts to someone trying to argue. Another variation of the word is “chopsy”, an adjective that not only means someone is argumentative, but can also mean that a person is a bit cocky, chatty, or even a bit cheeky. In short, it’s the kind of person who likes to run their mouth a lot.
Both banging and tidy have the same meaning in Welsh slang, and that’s something awesome. Unlike lush, the intensity of the like doesn’t rely on the context, something that’s banging or tidy is pretty objectively amazing.
Okay, stop your sniggering. While typically describing a part of the human anatomy in English, when you get to Wales, it’s another term describing your friends. There are male and female equivalents of the term as well, with “butt” being male or unisex and “beauts” reserved for women. It might seem like an insult to be called a butt, but from a Welsh person, it really means they hold you in high regard.
That’s Clean Off
Essentially meaning something that’s ridiculous or insane, “that’s clean off” is the Welsh equivalent of the British “you’re off your head”. In both cases, it’s meant to describe a person who’s behaving in a way that might seem crazy to most.
Every country has its own way to toast, and in Wales, that’s “Iechyd Da!” This Welsh term means “good health” and is done before downing your pint of bitter, much the way the English might say “cheers”. It’s such a mainstay in the culture that there’s even a brewery named Iechyd Da in Indiana that borrows the saying for itself.
It may sound like a question, but “alrigh?” is really just a local Welsh way of saying hello. Two people might say it in passing, not really expecting an answer. If you respond with “Yeah, I’m all right” you might get a strange look, so it’s best just to say it right back.
Not really a phrase you want to hear “ych-af-i!” is usually describing something disgusting or revolting. The English equivalent might be saying something’s “minging”. Make no mistake, there’s nothing good associated with the use of this phrase.
Scotland has the word “wee” and Wales has “dwt”. Dwt is typically used for something or someone who is small, though it’s reserved for children.