A tumblr post claimed the welsh call Microwaves "Popty ping." Can you confirm or deny this? It's for science.
I fear that I must deny this!
‘Popty ping’ literally means ‘oven which goes ping’, and it’s sort of an urban myth that it’s the official Welsh word for ‘microwave’. It’s a bit of a joke word, kind of like saying that the official English word for ‘alcoholic beverage’ is ‘tipple’, or that the word we all use in English for ‘friend’ is ‘ol’ buddy ol’ pal ol’ chum’. Saying ‘popty ping’ seriously in conversation with a Welsh person would earn you an eye roll and a weary sigh.
Unfortunately, the Welsh word for ‘microwave’ is ‘meicrodon’, which isn’t quite as funny, but does make me think of a tiny mafia boss.
However, there are some very funny Welsh words and phrases:
pili-pala - butterfly
smwddio - to iron (literally pronounced ‘smoothio’)
pysgod wibli wobli - jellyfish (this is another one like popty ping, in that it’s not wrong per se, but it’s not used in common parlance; more as a joke. It literally means ‘wibbly wobbly fish’)
sboncen - squash (as in the game, not the act of crushing something like a tyrant)
igam ogam - to walk a bit funny, like when you’re drunk or giddy
cerdded ling-di-long - to walk slowly, to meander (’cerdded’ is ‘to walk’)
‘sgod a sglod - fish and chips (’fish’ in Welsh is ‘pysgod’, and ‘chips’ is ‘sglodion’, so the two words are shortened to create an adorable rhyming phrase)
And we have some bloody phenomenal idiomatic phrases, too:
rhoi’r ffidil yn y to - to give up (literally ‘to put the fiddle in the roof’)
siarad fel hen het - to gossip (literally ‘to talk like an old hat’)
paid â chodi’r pais ar ôl piso - the equivalent of ‘don’t cry over spilt milk’ (literally ‘don’t lift the petticoat after you’ve pissed’)
bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn - raining heavily (literally ‘raining old women and sticks’)
fel rhech mewn pot jam - useless (literally ‘like a fart in a jam pot’ - this one is a fairly modern one, obviously!)
a ddwg ŵy a ddwg fwy - the equivalent of ‘a leopard never changes its spots’ (literally ‘if he steals one egg, he’ll steal more’)
tynnu nyth cacwn ar fy mhen - to cause trouble for yourself (literally ‘pulling a wasps’ nest on my head’)
tynnu blewyn o'i drwyn - to upset / annoy someone (literally ‘pull a hair from his nose’)
berwi fel cawl pys - to be angry (literally ‘boiling like pea soup’)
heb ei fai, heb ei eni - no-one is perfect (literally ‘without flaws, without birth’ / ‘if you have no flaws, you’re not born’)
So, don’t worry. ‘Popty ping’ might be a bit of an urban legend, but you can totally have an absolutely great time shouting at a butterfly to give up on the ironing and meander to the chip shop in the rain.
(Which would be - give or take a few grammatical nuances, as my Welsh grammar is incredibly rusty - ‘hei, pili-pala, pam ydych chi’n dal i smwddio? Dylech chi roi'r ffidil yn y to a cherdded ling-di-long i’r ‘sgod a sglod, er ei bod hi’n bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn!’)
Disclaimer, because all of these posts get the same response:
I’m not a fluent Welsh speaker. I speak it conversationally most days, but I seldom write it, which means that my grammar is not A+ fab. Maybe C+. Apol for all the errors.
Pls no comments along the lines of ‘omg wtf welsh is ridic lol’ because Welsh is very important and lovely and has been wronged terribly throughout history and almost eradicated by people who think it’s pointless, and I feel very protective of it.
There’s a kind of myth that there are no swearwords in Welsh, so let me first debunk this, and then we can get onto the HILARITY of Welsh profanity.
Welsh is a bit funny on the swearing front, because until the anglicisation of the language, there weren’t really any specific swear words. There were words that were generally kind of rude, like fart and dick, but not much specifically profane, like shit or fuck. Most of the swear words that we now use come from English (eg ‘pisso’ = piss, ‘ffyc’ = fuck), which isn’t really that interesting.
However, this doesn’t mean that people didn’t swear in Welsh before the language became more influenced by English. Oh no. It means that the more traditional Welsh swearwords and profanities are absolutely hilarious, because they’re almost completely idiomatic, and are only rude in context. They are, to put it bluntly, funny as fuck.
Archaically, most Welsh profanity was derived from either religion or from the rural background of the country, meaning that most swearwords or phrases are about various livestock and their bits and bobs, and so I decided to find some (plus the ones that our Welsh teacher taught us in year 12, good on you Mrs Evans) and now I am dead.
coc y gath - this literally means ‘the cat’s dick’, but its closest English equivalent would probably be ‘bollocks’ - used when something doesn’t work out the way you planned, eg ‘dw i wedi colli fy waled, coc y gath!’
cachu hwch - similar to ‘coc y gath’ in meaning and use; when something has gone wrong (literally ‘pig’s shit’)
coc oen - similar to the above (literally ‘lamb’s willy’)
cer i grafu - bugger off (literally ‘go and scratch’)
mewn cachiad / mewn dau gachiad / mewn cachiad chwanan / mewn cachiad nico - very quickly (literally ‘in a shit’ / ‘in two shits’ / ‘in a flea’s shit’ / ‘in a goldfinch’s shit’)
pric pwdin - a gullible idiot (literally ‘a pudding prick’)
dim gwerth rhech dafad - completely useless (literally ‘not worth a sheep’s fart’)
cont caseg - a woman of loose morals (literally ‘a mare’s vagina’, except it’s not vagina, it’s the REALLY RUDE WORD)
esgob annwyl - the equivalent of ‘oh my God’ (literally ‘the dear bishop’)
sgleinio fel ceilliau ci - something amazing (literally ‘shining like a dog’s testicles’ - kind of an equivalent to the English ‘the dog’s bollocks’)
dos i chwarae efo dy nain - bugger off (literally ‘go and play with your grandma’)
rhech capel - a quiet fart (literally ‘a chapel fart’)
llawes goch - a vagina (literally ‘red sleeve’)
mae hi wedi cachi arna i - I’m done for (literally ‘it’s shit on me’)
min dŵr - an erection you get when you’re really intoxicated (literally ‘a watery erection’)
bustachu - to have sex without the capacity to impregnate your partner (literally ‘to have sex like a castrated bull’)
piso gwidw - a weak drink (literally ‘widow’s piss’)
fel rhech mewn pot jam / potel - useless (literally ‘like a fart in a jam jar / bottle’)
rhech benfelen - a fart that stains your pants (literally ‘a blonde fart’)
diawl - a complete bloody bastard (literally ‘the devil’, but it’s ruder in Welsh)
And then you just have the boring ones:
cachu - shit
ffyc - fuck
pisso - piss
anws - anus
slebog - slut
cont - … the really rude word that I am not comfortable saying (although hilariously, ‘cont’ is a friendly term of endearment in some areas, particularly in the North, so you hear it said A LOT in casual conversation and no-one bats an eyelid - people in my office call each other ‘cont’ all the time and I always do a double take)
And now you just have to look up all these words and see how to pronounce them using the Welsh international phonetic alphabet, and you’re set - I can’t give you approximate English pronunciations because there are phonetics here that don’t have an English equivalent (eg ‘ch’) and I have no idea how to write them down so that you’ll be able to understand the pronunciation. Oh, Welsh. Coc y gath!
The Cyhyraeth, also known as the Hag of the Mist, or the Gwrach-y-Rhibyn, is a ghostly spirit (comparable to the Irish Banshee) in Welsh folklore.
She is portrayed as un ugly woman, whose scream is regarded as an omen of death or misfortune.
A harpy-like appearance: unkempt hair and wizened, withered arms with leathery wings, long black teeth and pale corpse-like features.
If someone is doomed to die, [their name] will be heard in her “shrill terror”. It will sound three times (growing weaker and fainter each time) as a threefold warning. Although often regarded invisible, she can sometimes be seen at crossroads or streams when a mist arises.
Most often the Gwrach y Rhibyn will wail and shriek “Fy ngŵr, fy ngŵr!” (My husband! My husband!) or “Fy mhlentyn, fy mhlentyn bach!” (My child! My little child!), though sometimes she will assume a male’s voice and cry “Fy ngwraig! Fy ngwraig!” (My wife! My wife!).
Legends associated with the Cyhyraeth are near the river Tywi in eastern Dyfed, as well as the coast of Glamorganshire. Along the Glamorganshire coast, the Cyhyraeth is said to be heard before a shipwreck, accompanied by a corpse-light (an atmospheric ghost light).