You Could Die Laughing At These 7 Unusual Names of Places in Wales-Irish Sea
Posted On November 18, 2020
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Cardiff Docks, Cardiff, Wales
Situated on the north side of the Severn Estuary (inlet of Irish Sea) and located at Cardiff Bay is Cardiff Docks. This is one of the largest dock system in the world and located at the center of Cardiff in South Wales. For hundred of years, this was a port. But it only started to flourish with its bulk of trading activities during the 19th century. It was then the center of coal and iron exports in South Wales. These days, Port of Cardiff‘s main activities are the import and export of containers, steel manufacturing, lumber as well as dry and liquid bulks.
Inhabited since 250,000 B.C., it has been the home of the Celtic tribes after which came the Romans. This was the land of the mythical King Arthur who fought the invading Anglo-Saxons that succeeded the Romans. After many battles to keep its freedom, it was ruled by England from the year 1284. Wales became a country in 1535 and united with England under the Tudor monarchs. And to symbolize this unification, the crown prince of England has been referred to as Prince of Wales. Prince Charles is the 21st Prince of Wales and he received the title when he was just 10 years old in 1950. Although Wales is one with England, it has its own identity as a country and the capital is Cardiff. English may be the official language but Welsh too is spoken by about 20% by its population. They call their country “Cymru” in Welsh which means “friendly”. They have their own national anthem, “Hen Wlad fy Nhalau” (Land of My Fathers) in Welsh. Yet this is the 2nd largest member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain but it’s not a part of England and Scotland. Wales is a hilly and mountainous country with lots of rain all year round. It has more castles per square kilometers than anywhere else in the world. And it is a land where lambs outnumber its population.
While I was under contract with M/T Knock An in 2001, UK’s Mobil Oil chartered the ship for two weeks at its refinery in Wales. It is a country with a different tradition, culture and heritage from England. They have their own identity which is highly valued by its people. But one damn thing that stirs your curiosity when you set foot on Wales for the first time are the weird names of its places. Though there are places whose names are of English, Latin, Norse or Irish origin, most are in Welsh. In the English speaking world, said place names are sure to break you up with a smile. There are tongue-twisting names and some are funny for one reason or the other. Don’t you think it will be a hilarious trip for you to visit said places one day? With a lot of gobbledygook and chuckle, you could die laughing with these 7 unusual names of places in Wales. Have a hearty giggle.
It’s actually a holiday hamlet in Pembrokeshire, South Wales. You could die laughing at this unusual name of a place in Wales where it was once a coal-mining town. Based from the locals, Stepaside got its name when the English General Oliver Cromwell passed by the area in 1653. During the English Civil War on his way to Pembroke, he allegedly asked the villagers to step aside from the narrow bridge so that he and his army can cross over. Stepaside, Pembrokeshire has Colby Woodland Garden, Little Kings Park or White Gate Caravan Park you can explore around.
Indeed, some Welsh surely like it Splott (as in hot). But this is a thriving and vibrant district in Cardiff whose locals work together to make the most of their social, economic and cultural heritage. Splott, where you could die laughing at this unusual name of a place in Wales is from the Welsh word “Ysblad“. It means “a firm piece of land surrounded by marsh” or a plot of land. It later changed to Splott by non-speaking Welsh settlers in the area. And while Splott itself doesn’t sound exactly nice, it is where Dame Shirley Bassey (singer, The Greatest Performance Of My Life; I Will Survive) grew up until she became famous.
Swansea, South Wales
No, this is not a sea of swans although it is a coastal city in Southwest Wales. You could die laughing at this unusual name of a place inWales but in Welsh, the name is “Abertawe”. It means “mouth of Tawe River” as it is lies along the Bristol Channel at the entrance of River Tawe. The name Swansea is derived from an Old Norse name of a former Viking trading area founded by King Sweyn Forkbeard (960-1014 A.D.) Sweyn together with the suffix of “ey” means island. So it was later changed into Swansea. This is the second largest city of Wales and it’s where the headquarters of Amazon.co.org is located. It is also the first city in Wales to feature its own version of the board game Monopoly. Famous Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born and raised in Swansea.
Pant y Wacco, Flintshire
While England has several of the “Bottom” word affix in its place names (Scratchy Bottom, Dorset; Slap Bottom, Hampshire), in Wales, it’s “old women and and sticks” with so many “pants or pant” on its map. The word pant in Pant y Wacco, and you could die laughing at this unusual place of a name in Wales simply means “a valley”. It is equivalent of “bottom” to its English border. Brace yourself for more pants in Wales:Pant Mawr( or pant more meaning big valley, Pant y Wheel, Pant y Pistyll…
Plump, Ceredigion, West Wales
A village in Llandysiliogogo community, Ceredigion West Wales wherein 54% of its residents speak Welsh. And it don’t necessarily mean they are fat either. You could die laughing at this unusual name of a place in Wales but it’s derived from the word “pwmp”. In Welsh, it means “pump”. They say that this place got its name from a farm whose pump supplied water for travelers. More than just fluffy sheep and Tom Jones (yes, he is from Wales too), there is Pembrokeshire National Park you can explore near Plwmp.
Now The Longest: Llanfairpwllgwygyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
This is “over the top of the dishes” with 58 letters long but you can call this place in its shorter form with just Llanfairpwl or Llanfair PC. This is a little town at the island of Anglesey which has the longest name in Europe and the 2nd in the world. You could die laughing at this unusual name of a place in Wales but basically it tells you the exact location of their town. It is “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave”. The town’s tongue-twisting name has been featured in the movie: The Long Road To Hongkong. And well, actress Naomi Watts has lived in this town with her grandfather for a brief period. The villagers claim she can pronounce the name of their town perfectly.
Aberystwyth, West Wales
You could die laughing at this unusual name of a place in Wales but basically this is a university town in the western part of the country (University of Wales). The name of the town in Welsh means “mouth of the Ystwyth River”. It has an elegant waterfront walkway complete with colorful terraced houses and a wooden pier. But what makes this town remarkable in Welsh history is that it’s the birthplace of a certain Joseph “Job” Daniels. In the 18th century he emigrated to America with his Scottish wife, Elisabeth Calaway and landed in Tennessee, U.S.A. In later years, his grandson Jack Daniels would gave the world his famous Jack Daniels whiskey.
Indeed travel widens your knowledge. And of course it brings out the 5-year old giggle in you especially when you go and visit Wales. It has its share of the most hilarious names of places in the UK. Through these wonderful names, it will give your trip to this small Welsh country a fascinating experience. Cael gwyliau brab means in Welsh have a nice holiday. Enjoy a chuckle. Pob lwc i chi! (good luck).