Idiomatic Expressions in Welsh

Ymadroddion Idiomataidd Cyffredin yn y Gymraeg / Common Idiomatic Expressions in Welsh

Yn Yr Iaith

Isod, mae rhestr o ymadroddion a phriod-ddulliau pob dydd yn Gymraeg. Idiomau nodweddiadol Cymraeg yw llawer ohonyn nhw ac felly ni ellir eu cyfieithu’n llythrennol o’r Gymraeg i’r Saesneg (neu i’r gwrthwyneb). Rydym wedi cynnwys enghraifft o sut i ddefnyddio pob un yn y golofn ar y dde. Mae llawer o briod-ddulliau Cymraeg yn mynegi teimlad mewn ffordd gryno e.e. 'Cenedl heb iaith (yw) cenedl heb galon'. Mae i'r rhan fwya' ohonyn nhw rythm cryf pan gân nhw'u hadrodd yn uchel e.e.'A ddwg ŵy a ddwg fwy'. Ar ben hynny, mae llawer yn creu delwedd fyw e.e. 'Mae e’n cadw draenog yn ei boced'. Gallwch ddefnyddio'r offeryn ‘Dod o hyd’ yn eich porwr i chwilio am idiom penodol yr ydych wedi'i glywed.

Yr hyn sy'n gwneud y casgliad hwn yn wahanol i gyflwyniadau eraill yw bod yr eitemau wedi'u trefnu mewn grwpiau; i ddechrau, mae rhai ymadroddion cyffredin iawn ar gyfer pobl sy’n newydd i’r iaith, ac eraill sy wedi'u trefnu yn ôl pynciau. Nodwch y bydd yn rhaid newid ambell i air (e.e. rhagenw personol), yn dibynnu ar y person neu’r bobl byddwch chi’n cyfeirio atyn nhw.

Below is a list of common expressions. Many of them are idioms, because they cannot be translated straight from Welsh to English, either word-for-word or vice versa. They are sayings that are characteristic and particular to Welsh.Many Welsh idioms express a sentiment in a concise way, such as 'Cenedl heb iaith yw cenedl heb galon' ('A nation without a language is a nation without a heart'). Most of them have a strong rhythm when they are spoken out loud, such as 'A ddwg ŵy a ddwg fwy' ('He who steals an egg will steal more'). And then again, very many create a vivid image such as 'Mae e’n cadw draenog yn ei boced' ('He keeps a hedgehog in his pocket' for 'He's tight with money'). 

What makes this collection different from other presentations is that the items are collated into groups; initially there are some very common expressions for those new to the language, and then others arranged by topic. We have included an example of how to use each one in the column on the right. Note that you’ll have to change some of them depending on the person or the people to whom you’re referring. You can use the Find function on your browser to look for a particular idiom that you have heard.

Mae'r cynnwys hwn wedi'i goladu a'i drefnu gan Patrick Jemmer, gyda diolch i Dafydd Roberts a David Sutton
Collated and arranged by
Patrick Jemmer, with thanks to Dafydd Roberts and David Sutton

Idiomataidd Cyffredin / Common Idioms

Detholiad o'r idiomau a glywir gan amlaf / A selection of the most-heard idioms.

Ymadrodd / PhraseDehongliad / InterpretationMewn cyd-destun / In context
Ail lawSecond-handMae hi’n hoff o wisgo ‘sanau ail law
She’s fond of wearing second-hand socks
Ar benOver / finishedMae’r arholiadau ar ben erbyn hyn, diolch byth!
The exams are finished now, thank goodness!
Ar ben ei gilydd
Ar bennau ei gilydd
On top of each other / crammed inDyna lanast! Mae’r lluniau oll ar bennau ei gilydd
What a mess! All the pictures are on top of each other
Ar fy mhen fy hun
Ar dy ben dy hun
Ar ei ben ei hun
Ar ei phen ei hun
Ar ein pennau ein hunain
Ar eich pennau eich hunain
Ar ei pennai eu hunain
On his own
On your own
On his own
On her own
On our own
On your own
On their own
Dw i’n casáu bod ar fy mhen fy hunan yn y tywyllwch
I hate being on my own in the dark
Arllwys y glawPouring rainMae hi’n arllwys y glaw heddi’ fel arfer
It’s pouring with rain today as usual
Ar bigau'r drainOn the points of thorns / On tenterhooks / on edgeRo’n ni ar bigau’r drain wrth ddisgwyl y canlyniadau
We were on tenterhooks awaiting the results
Ar y blaen / Ar flaenIn front / ahead / leadingMae tîm Cymru ar y blaen yn y gystadleuaeth hyd yn hyn
The Welsh team is leading in the competition so far
Ar bob cyfrifOf course / with pleasure / by all meansYdych, dych chi’n gallu dod gyda ni ar bob cyfrif
Yes, you can come with us by all means
Allan o wyntOut of breathAr ôl dringo’r staer bydda’ i allan o wynt
After climbing the stairs I’ll be out of breath
A’m gwynt yn fy nwrn
A'th wynt yn dy ddwrn
A'i wynt yn ei ddwrn
A'i gwynt yn ei dwrn
A'n gwynt yn ein dyrnau
A'ch gwynt yn eich dyrnau
A'u gwynt yn eu dyrrnau
With my wind in my fist / Out of breathCyrhaeddodd hi’r ysgol a’i gwynt yn ei dwrn, wedi rhedeg yr holl ffordd yno
She arrived at school out of breath, having run the whole way there
Bob amserAll the time / alwaysMaen nhw’n dod yn hwyr bob amser
They come late all the time / They’re always late
Cenedl heb iaith (yw) cenedl heb galonA nation without a language is a nation without a heart
Codi ofn ar rywunTo frighten someoneGobeithio y bydd y bwgan brain yn codi ofn ar y adar i gyd
I hope that the scarecrow will scare all the birds
Ar fy ngholled
Ar dy golled
Ar ei golled
Ar ei cholled
Ar ein colled
Ar eich colled
Ar eu colled
Worse off / losing outByddwn ni ar ein colled o ganlyniad i’r toriadau newydd
We’ll be worse off as a result of the new cut-backs
Cyn bo hirBefore long / soonByddwn ni’n dod i ymweld â chi cyn bo hir
We’ll be coming to visit you before long
Crynu yn ei ‘sgidiauShaking in one’s bootsRo’n i’n crynu yn fy ‘sgidiau o weld y ddamwain
I was shaking in my boots from seeing the accident
Dal atiTo keep at itEr mwyn llwyddo, bydd yn rhaid i chi ddal ati!
In order to succeed, you’ll have to keep at it!
Mae'n dda gan (rywun) / gyda (rhywun)(Someone’s) gladMae’n dda gyda fi gwrdd â chi
I’m pleased to meet you
Ddim hanner callNot all there / daftDwyt ti ddim hanner call os byddi di’n credu hynny!
You're not all there if you believe that!
Dro ar ôl troTime after timeByddwn ni’n mynd yn ôl i’r un gwesty dro ar ôl tro
We go back to the same hotel time after time
O ddrwg i waethFrom bad to worseAeth y sefyllfa o ddrwg i waeth ar ôl i chi gyrraedd!
The situation went from bad to worse after you arrived!
Dysgu ar gofTo learn off by heart / by roteYn yr hen ddyddiau byddai pobl yn dysgu cerddi ar gof
In the old days people would learn poems by heart
Dweud y drefn wrth (rywun)To tell (someone) offDylet ti ddweud y drefn wrth y plant swnllyd ‘na!
You should tell those noisy children off!
Gair am airWord for wordRwy’n gallu adrodd llawer o gerddi hyfryd, gair am air
I can recite many lovely poems, word for word.
Gorau po gyntaSooner the better‘Gorau po gynta yr ei di at y deintydd’ meddai Dad
‘The sooner the better you go to the dentist’ said Dad
I’w weldTo be seenDoedd dim byd i’w weld yn unman
There was nothing to be seen anywhere
Gwell hwyr na hwyrachBetter late than neverPan gyrhaeddodd e’r cyfarfod o’r diwedd, ‘Gwell hwyr na hwyrach’ oedd unig sylw’r cadeirydd
When he arrived at the meeting at last, ‘Better late than never,’ was the chairperson’s only comment
Gwenu o glust i glustSmiling from ear to earYn ystod y parti roedd hi’n gwenu o glust i glust
During the party she was smiling from ear to ear
Gwneud ei orau glasTo do one’s very bestDyn ni wastad wedi gwneud ein gorau glas yn yr arholiadau
We’ve always done our very best in the exams
Gwneud y troTo make do / To do the trickBydd y matras ‘na’n gwneud y tro nes i fi brynu gwely newydd
That matress will do the trick until I buy a new bed
Mae’n hen brydIt's about time / high timeMae’n hen bryd i ni fynd ar wyliau
It’s about time we went on holiday
Mae hi ar ben ar (rywun)It’s all over for (someone)Roedd hi ar ben arno fe pan gyrhaeddodd mor hwyr
It was all over for him when he arrived so late
Mae hi wedi canu ar (rywun)It’s all over for (someone)Roedd hi wedi canu ar Y Gweilch yn dilyn ail gais Y Sgarlets
It was all over for the Ospreys following the second try for the Scarlets
Mae hiraeth ar (rywun) am (rywbeth)(Someone) is longing for / yearning for / nostalgic about (something)Roedd hiraeth arna i am yr hen ddyddiau ysgol
I was nostalgic abut the old school days
Man a manMight as wellAr ôl dydd caled o waith, man a man i ti fynd i’r dafarn
Arfer a hard day of wrk, you might as well go to the pub
O'r golwgOut of sightAeth yr arwyr ifainc o’r golwg dros y ffosydd
The young heroes went out of sight over the trenches
Pwyso a mesurTo weigh up / consider carefullyBydd arnoch chi angen pwyso a mesur yr holl syniadau’n ofalus
You’ll need to weigh up all the ideas carefully
Rhag ofnIn caseDyma i chi gwmpawd rhag ofn i chi fynd ar goll
Here’s a compass in case you get lost
Rhoi'r gorau iTo give it upByddai’n well i ti roi’r gorau i ‘smygu, ‘achan!
You’d better give up smoking, mate!
Teg edrych tuag adrefIt's good to look homewards
Uchel ei glochLoud-mouthed / loudJiw, Jiw, roedd y gyrrwr tacsi ‘na yn uchel ei gloch, on’d oedd e?
Good grief, that taxi driver was loud-mouthed, wasn’t he?
Unwaith ac am bythOnce and for allRhaid i ni gael gwared ar y bysen saethwr unwaith ac am byth!
We’ve got to get rid of the knotweed once and for all!
Wrth ei fodd oDelighted / in one’s element aboutRo’ch chi wrth eich bodd o glywed y newyddion da
You were delighted to hear the good news
Yn awr ac yn y manEvery now and thenByddan nhw’n mynd i’r Alban yn awr ac yn y man
They go to Scotland every now and then
Yma ac acwHere and thereRoedd llestri brwnt wedi’u gadael yma ac acw ar y byrddau i gyd
Dirty dishes had been left here and there on all the tables


Mwy o Idiomataidd Cyffredin / More Common Idioms

Ymadrodd / PhraseDehongliad / InterpretationMewn cyd-destun / In context
A barnu wrthJudging byA barnu wrth ei wyneb, mae hi wrth hi bodd
Judging by her face, she’s delighted
Cael a chaelTo have a close shavePasiais i’r arholiad, ond cael a chael oedd hi
I passed the exam, but it was a close shave
Cael siom ar yr ochr orauTo be pleasantly surprisedCefais i siom ar yr ochr gorau o weld y sioe
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the show
Cadw (o) hyd fraichTo keep at arm’s lengthMae e’n cadw ei frawd o hyd braich
He keeps his brother at arm's length
Cilio i’r cefndirTo take a back seatAr ôl iddi ymddeol ciliodd hi i’r cefndir unwaith eto
After she retired she took a back seat once again
Codi awydd arno fe
Codi awydd arni hi
To make one want to do somethingRoedd y gwynt hyfryd yn codi awydd arna i i flasu’r gacen
The lovely smell made me want to taste the cake
O’r cychwyn cyntafFrom the very beginningRydych chi wedi bod yn anobeithiol o’r cychwyn cyntaf!
You’ve been hopeless since the very beginning!
Fel cynffon buwchLater than everyone elseByddi di wastad yn cyrraedd fel cynffon buwch!
You always arrive later than everyone else!
Dianc â chroen cyfanTo escape unscathedRoedd e mewn damwain ond dihangodd â chroen cyfan
He was in an accident but escaped unscathed
Fel mae’n digwyddAs it happensDw i ddim yn gweithio ar hyn o bryd, fel mae’n digwydd
I’m not working at the moment, as it happens
Dod trwyddiTo see it throughMae’r cwrs yn anodd iawn ond bydda i’n dod trwyddi
The course is very hard but I’ll see it through
Dros ei grogi
Dros ei chrogi
For the sake of his hanging / For all the world / For all the tea in ChinaFyddwn i ddim yn dod gyda chi dros fy nghrogi
I wouldn’t go with you for all the world
Dweud arno fe
Dweud arni hi
To have a bad effect on oneBydd y diffyg awyr iach yn dweud arnyn nhw
The lack of fresh air will have a bad effect on them
Mae e’n falch o
Mae hi’n falch o
He’s pleased to / She’s pleased toByddem ni’n falch o ddod i’r parti
We would be pleased to come to the party
Gallu dweud ar ei lygaid
Gallu dweud ar ei llygaid
To tell from one’s eyesRo’n i’n gallu dweud ar eu llygaid eu bod yn drist
I could tell from their eyes they were sad
Golchi ei ddwylo â
Golchi ei dwylo â
To wash one’s hands ofDylwn i olchi fy nwylo â’r holl gynllun
I should wash my hands of the whole plan
Lawn gymaint âQuite as much asDw i ddim yn ‘smygu bellach lawn gymaint ag o’r blaen
I don’t smoke now quite as much as before
Pwy a ŵyrWho knows / You never knowPwy a ŵyr, efallai y bydd hi yno
You never know, perhaps she’ll be there
‘Does rhyfedd ei fod e
‘Does rhyfedd ei bod hi
No wonder one isDoes rhyfedd ein bod ni’n hwyr bob amser!
No wonder we’re late all the time!
Traed o briddFeet of clayMae hi’n ffroenuchel ond mae ganddi hi draed o bridd
She’s stuck up but she has feet of clay
Tynnu blewyn o’i drwyn
Tynnu blewyn o’i thrwyn
To take the wind out of one’s sails / To deflateBydd colli’r swydd yn tynnu blewyn o’i drwyn!
Losing the job will take the wind out of his sails!
(Yn) ôl ei draed
(Yn) ôl ei thraed
In one’s footstepsMae fy chwaer eisiau dilyn yn ôl fy nhraed
My sister wants to follow in my footsteps
Y tu ôl i’w gefn
Y tu ôl i’w chefn
Behind one’s backMae dy ffrind di’n hela clecs y tu ôl i’th gefn
Your friend is gossiping behing your back
O’i wirfodd e
O’i gwifodd hi
Of one’s own accordBydd yn rhaid i chi astudio o’ch gwirfodd
You’ll have to study of your own accord

Priod-ddulliau Mwy Cymhleth a Diarhebion / More Complex Idioms and Proverbs

Mae diarhebion yn debyg i idiomau (neu briod-ddulliau) - dywediad byrion, adnabyddus ydyn nhw, yn cyflwyno doethineb mewn ffordd gwta, gofiadwy. Isod mae rhestr o briod-ddulliau a diarhebion mwy cymhleth, yr ystyron llythrennol a sawl nodyn ar sut maen nhw’n cael eu defnyddio.

Proverbs are similar to idioms - namely short, well-known sayings, conveying wisdom in a curt, memorable way. Below is a list of more complex idioms and proverbs, the literal meanings and with some notes on how they are used.

Am Bobl / About People

Ymadrodd / PhraseYstyr llythrennol / Literal meaningDehongliad / Interpretation
(Mae e’n) angel pen ffordd, diawl pen tân(He is) an angel on the road, a devil at the fireplaceHe is two-faced / He is charming to outsiders, horrid when you know them
Anodd tynnu cast o hen geffylIt is difficult to cure an old horse of a bad habitYou can’t teach an old dog new tricks
Roedd hi’n berwi fel cawl pysShe was boiling like pea soupShe was chattering / talking incessantly
Mae e’n cadw draenog yn ei boced
Mae hi’n cadw draenog yn ei phoced
He / she keeps a hedgehog in his pocketHe’s / she’s tight with money
Gellir diddanheddu’r blaidd ond ni ellir ei ddinaturioThe wolf’s teeth can be removed but his nature can’t be changedA leopard never changes his spots
Ddim yn werth cnec mochyn (pumswllt)Not worse than a sheep’s fart / Completely worthless / uselessDyw ei frawd e ddim yn werth cnec mochyn
His brother’s completely worthless
A ddwg ŵy a ddwg fwyHe who steals an egg will steal moreOne thing leads to another
Mae ganddo fe ddwylo blewog
Mae ganddi hi ddwylo blewog
He has ‘sticky fingers’
She has ‘sticky fingers’
Mae gan y plant y drws nesa’ i ni ddwylo blewog, a bydd pethau’n diflannu bob tro o’r ardd!
The children next door to us have sticky fingers and things are always disappearing from the garden!
Mae e ar gefn ei geffyl gwyn
Mae hi ar gefn ei cheffyl gwyn
He / she is on the back of his / her white horseHe / she is full of mischief
Mae e ar gefn ei geffyl
Mae hi ar gefn ei cheffyl
He / she is on the back of his / her horseHe / she is exultant / proud / on his / her high horse
Mae e ar gefn ei geffyl cwta
Mae hi ar gefn ei cheffyl cwta
He / she is on the back of his / her short horseHe / she is in a temper
Mae e fel marchog ar geffyl
Mae e fel marchog ar farch gwyn
He is like a knight on horseback
He is like a knight on a white steed
He is like a knight in shining armour
Mae hi’n dawnsio ar y dibynShe is dancing on the cliff edgeShe’s playing with fire
Dyw’r dau dîm ddim yn yr un caeThe two teams are not on the same field/pitchThe two teams are not in the same league
Mae’n draed moch arnaf fiIt’s pigs’ feet on meI’ve made a mess / in a mess
A ddywedo leiaf, hwnnw yw’r callafWho speaks the least, he is the wisestEmpty vessels make the most sound
Mae e’n gwybod hyd ei gyrn
Mae hi’n gwybod hyd ei chyrn
He / she knows the length of his / her hornsHe / she knows his own strengths and weaknesses
Heb ei fai, heb ei eniHe who is blameless has not been bornNo-one is without fault
Mae e’n lladd gwairHe’s mowing hayHe’s killing time
Mi rown fy mhen i’w dorri (Gogledd)
Fe rown fy mhen i’w dorri (De Cymru)
I’ll give my head to be brokenI’m absolutely certain
'Tin du!’, meddai’r frân wrth yr wylan'Black arse!’, says the crow to the seagullThe pot calls the kettle black
A ŵyr leiaf, a ddywed fwyafHe who knows least, says mostEmpty vessels make the most sound


Niferoedd / Numbers

Ymadrodd / PhraseDehongliad / InterpretationMewn cyd-destun / In context
Ateb yn unairTo answer unanimouslyAtebodd yr holl bobl yn unair gan weiddi ar y gwleidydd
All the people answered unanimously, shouting at the politician
Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i’w welyThere’s more than one way to get Wil to his bed / There’s more than one way to do somethingMae’n flin ‘da fi nad yw dy gynllun i ennill mwy o arian wedi llwyddo, ond, ceda di fi, mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i’w wely
I’m sorry that your plan to earn more money hasn’t succeeded, but, believe you me, there’s more than one way to do it.
Dan unAt the same time / togetherBydd yn llawer gwell os byddan ni oll yn mynd i weld y rheolwr dan un
It will be a lot better if we all go to see the manager at the same time
Rhedeg am y cyntafTo run for first-place / To raceGallwn ni redeg am y gynta’ i’r siopiau
We can race to the shops
Fel ci â dau gynffonLike a dog with two tails / Extremely pleasedRoedd Siôn fel ci â dau gynffon ar ôl ennill y gêm
Siôn was extremely pleased after winning the game
Ddwywaith gymaintTwice as muchFydda i ddim yn llwyddo hyd yn oed os bydda i’n astudio ddwywaith gymaint â hi
I won’t succeed even if I study twice as much as her
DauddyblygTwo-fold / As much againRoedd gan fy Mam doniau dauddyblyg: fel athrawes ac fel awdur
My Mother had two-fold talents: as a teacher and as an author
DeufisolBi-monthlyBydd y cyfarfod deufisol yn digwydd unwaith bob yn ail fis
The bi-monthly meeting takes place once every two months
Di-ail
Heb ei ail
Heb ei hail
Second to noneMae’r siop newydd yn y dre’ heb ei hail
The new shop in town’s second to none
'Does dim dwywaith amdaniThere’s no two ways about it / It’s absolutely certain‘Sdim dwywaith amdani, bydd yn rhaid i ni symud tŷ flwyddyn nesa’
There’s no two ways about it, we’ll have to move house next year
Tri chynnig i Gymro‘Three tries for a Welshman’Mae rhai’n credu y bydd Cymro neu Gymres yn llwyddo o gael tri chyfle i gyflawni tasg, a dyna pam y dywedir ‘Tri chynnig i Gymro’
Some people believe that a Welshman or Welshwoman will succeed after having three tries at completing a task, and that’s why they say ‘Three tries for a Welshman’
Tri chysur henaint: tân, tê, a thybacoThe three comforts of old age: fire, tea, and baccyWel, falle taw tri chysur henaint yw tân, tê, a thybaco, ond dylai rhywun fod wedi rhybuddio Tad-cu cyn iddo danio’r tŷ gyda’i getyn ac wedyn trio diffodd y fflamiau gyda disgled o dê!
Well, perhaps the three comforts of old age are fire, tea, and baccy, but someone should have warned Grand-pa before he set the house on fire with his pipe and then tried to put out the flames with a cup of tea!
Unwaith yn y pedwar amserOnce in the four times / Once in a blue moonDim ond unwaith yn y pedwar amser byddan nhw’n mynd i ymweld â ni
It’s only once in a blue moon they come to visit us
Mae e ar ei bedwar
Mae hi ar ei phedwar
He’s on all fours
She’s on all fours
Aethon ni ar ein pedwar er mwyn mynd trwy’r twnnel
We went on all fours to go through the tunnel
Estyn ei bump
Estyn ei phump
To extend his hand
To extend her hand
Peidiwch ag estyn eich pump os byddwch yn cwrdd â’r cwîn!
Don’t extend your hand if you meet the queen!
Rhoi ei bump ar
Rhoi ei phump ar
To nab / grab / pinchDych chi wedi rhoi’ch pump ar fy mrechdan i?
Have you pinched my sandwich?
Yn y seithfed nefIn seventh heavenBydda i yn y seithfed nef pan fydda i wedi gorffen y gwaith
I’ll be in seventh heaven when I’ve finished the work
Yr hoelion wythThe eight nails / Pillars of the communityUn o’r hoelion wyth rownd ffor’ma yw Jones y Cigydd
Jones the Butcher is one of the pillars of the community round here
Ar y nawOn the nine / awfully / terriblyRoedd yr arholiad yn anodd ar y naw
The exam was terribly difficult
Saith gwaeth / Naw gwaethSeven times worse / Nine times worse / Much worseRoedd ei phroblemau naw gwaeth ar ôl iddi golli ei swydd
Her problems were much worse after she lost her job
ArddegauTeenage yearsYr arddegau yw’r cyfnod rhwng un deg un ac un deg naw oed
The teens is the period between eleven and nineteen years old
Siarad pymtheg i'r dwsin
Siarad deunaw i'r dwsin
To talk nineteen to the dozenMae e wastad yn siarad pymtheg i'r dwsin
He always talks nineteen to the dozen
Taro deuddegTo hit the nail on the headMae’r adrodd gan y pennaeth wedi taro deuddeg o ran problemau’r ysgol
The report by the headteacher has hit the nail on the head with respect to the school's problems
Hanner cant namyn unForty-nineUn llai na phum deg yw hanner cant namyn un
Forty-nine is one less than fifty
Rhif y gwlithNumbered like the dew-drops / InnumerableCafodd milwyr rif y gwlith eu lladd ym Mrwydr y Somme
Innumerable soldiers were killed in the Battle of the Somme


Am Bethau / About Things

Ymadrodd / PhraseYstyr llythrennol / Literal meaningDehongliad / Interpretation
Allwedd arian a egyr pob cloMoney is the key that opens all locksMoney’s the answer to everything
Bwlch yr aiff ceffyl a throl drwyddo yw hwnThis is a gap a horse and cart will go throughThis is a huge gaping hole
Y mae dau du i bob tudalenThere are two sides to every pageThere’s two sides to every story
A elo yn hwch i Rydychen, yn hwch y daw yn ôlA sow that goes to Oxford will still be a sow when she returnsYou can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
Mae’r esgid yn gwasguThe shoe is squeezingMoney is tight
Gŵr dieithr yw yforyTomorrow is a strangerTomorrow’s another day
Dyna’r drwg yn y cawsThat’s the badness in the cheeseThat’s the fly in the ointment
Gwell fy mwthyn fy hun na phlas arallBetter my own cottage than the palace of anotherThere’s no place like home
Aeth y newydd ar gyrn a phibauThere news spreads on horns and pipesThere news spread like wildfire
Segurdod yw clod y cleddA sword’s credit is its idlenessPower is best when it’s not used


Am Wneud Pethau / About Doing Things

Ymadrodd / PhraseYstyr llythrennol / Literal meaningDehongliad / Interpretation
Cam dros y trothwy, hanner y daithA step over the threshold is half the journeyEvery journey begins with a single step
Can di bennill mwyn i’th nain, fe gân dy nain i tithauSing your grandma a sweet song and your gran shall sing for youI’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine
Canu cyn borefwyd, crïo cyn swperTo sing before breakfast is to weep before supperDon’t count your chickens before they’re hatched
Paid â chodi pais ar ôl piso (informal)
Peidiwch â chodi pais ar ôl piso (formal)
Don’t raise your petticoat after peeingDon’t cry over spilt milk
Y cyntaf i’r felin caiff faluThe first to the mill will get to grindFirst come, first served / The early bird catches the worm
Deuparth gwaith ei ddechrauTwo-thirds of a job is starting itOnce begun a job’s soon done
Ennyn cannwyll i chwilio am haul canoldyddTo light a candle to search for the mid-day sunTo go on a fools’ errand
Gwna dda dros ddrwg, uffern ni’th ddwgRepay evil with good, and hell will not claim you
Roedd e’n cerdded yn ling-di-longHe was loitering / walking casuallyHe was dilly-dallying / shilly-shallying
Dianc rhag y mwg a syrthio i’r tânTo escape from the smoke and fall into the fireTo jump from the frying-pan into the fire
Dyfal donc a dyr y garregConstant tapping breaks the stoneSlow and steady wins the day
Dw i eisiau rhoi’r ffidil yn y toI want to put the fiddle in the roofI want to throw in the towel / give up
Gorau cam, cam cyntafThe best step, the first stepEvery journey begins with a single step
Gorau prinder, prinder geiriauThe best economy, economy of wordsLeast said soonest mended
Gochel y pechod cyntaf, canys y mae lleng yn dynn wrth ei sawdlBeware of the first sin, for there is a legion hard on its heelsBad leads to worse
Hawdd dywedyd ‘mynydd’ na myned drostoIt is easier to say ‘mountain’ than to go over itIt’s easier said than done
Hawdd dweud na ‘neudIt’s easier said than done
Hir y byddir yn cnoi tamaid chwerwA bitter morsel will be chewed for a long timeSin in haste, repent at leisure
Pan fo llawer yn llywio fe sudda’r llongWhen the steersmen are many the ship will sinkToo many cooks spoil the broth
Prynu cath mewn cwdTo buy a cat in a bagTo buy a pig in a poke
Mae rhywbeth ar y gweillThere’s something on the (knitting) needlesThere’s something in progress / ‘up’
Na sang ar droed ci chwerwDo not trample on an angry dog’s pawLet sleeping dogs lie
Troi’r gath yn y badellTo turn the cat in the panTo change the subject


Mwy Priod-ddulliau Cymhleth a Diarhebion / More Complex Idioms and Proverbs

Ymadrodd / PhraseYstyr llythrennol / Literal meaningDehongliad / Interpretation
Adar o'r unlliw (a) hedant i'r unlleBirds of the same colour fly to the same placeBirds of a feather flock together
Adfyd a ddaw â dysg yn ei lawSweet are the uses of adversityAdversity brings learning in its hand
Adfyd ddwg wybodaeth, gwybodaeth ddoethinebAdversity bears knowledge, and knowledge wisdomHardship is a good teacher
Araf deg mae mynd ymhell / Yn ara’ deg mae dal iârBy going slowly one goes farSlow and steady wins the race
Nid aur (yw) popeth melynEverything yellow is not goldAll that glitters is not gold
Benthyg dros dro popeth yn y byd hwnNothing’s permanentA temporary borrowing is everything in this world
Mwyaf y brys, mwyaf y rhwystrThe greater the hurry, the greater the hindranceMore haste less speed
Cartref yw cartref er tloted y boThere’s no place like home
Ceffyl da yw ewyllysDetermination is a good horse
O geiniog i geiniog yr â’r arian yn buntFrom penny to penny the money becomes a poundLook after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves
Mae chwarae’n troi’n chwerw wrth chwarae gyda thânPlaying turns bitter when you play with firePlay with fire and you’ll get burned
Chwery mab noeth, ni chwery mab newynogA naked boy will play, but a starving boy will not play
Ci yn udo noson ole, newydd ddrwg ddaw yn y boreA baying dog on a moonlit night, bad news comes in the morningA portent of doom
Wrth gicio a brathu mae cariad yn maguKicking and biting, love grows up
Cynt cwymp dâr na miarenSooner an oak falls than a briarHome is home despite how poor it may be
Mae dafan ddu ym mhob praiddThere is a bad sheep in evey flockThere’s a bad apple in evey barrel
Derfydd dannedd merch yn gynt na’i thafodA girl’s teeth wear out sooner than her tongue
Diwedd y gân yw’r geiniogThe end of the song is the pennyTo sing for your supper
Dywed yn dda am dy gyfaill, am dy gelyn dywed ddimSpeak well of your friend and about your enemy say nothing
Mae’r euog yn ffoi heb neb yn ei erlidThe guilty flee when no one chases himThe guilty flee their own shadows
Gall pechod mawr ddyfod trwy ddrws bychanA big sin can come in through a tiny doorOne thing leads to another / It’s a slippery slope
Gormod o bwdin a dagith giToo much pudding chokes a dogTo have too much of a good thing
Gwell bachgen call nab renin ffôlBetter a wise boy than a foolish king
Gwyn y gwêl y frân ei chywThe crow sees her chick as whiteTo have a biased opinion of someone
Gŵr heb bwyll, llong heb angorA man without sense is a ship without an anchor
Yr hen a ŵyr a’r / yr ifanc a dybiaThe old know and the young suspectRespect the wisdom of your elders
Llon llygod lle ni bo cathMerry mice where there's no catWhen the cat's away, the mice play
Yr oen yn dysgu’r ddafad i boriThe lamb teaches the ewe to graze
Mewn pob daioni mae gwobrIn every goodness there’s a prizeGoodness is its own reward
Rhaid cropian cyn cerddedOne must crawl before walkingLearn to walk before you can run
Taro’r post i’r pared gael clywedTo hit the post so that the wall hears


Am ragor o wybodaeth, gweler / For more information, see:

Geiriadur Idiomau- A Dictionary of Welsh and English Idiomatic Phrases

A R Cownie (2001) Geiriadur Idiomau (A Dictionary of Welsh and English Idiomatic Phrases). Cardiff UK: University of Wales Press

A Little Book of Welsh Proverbs

T Jones ac B Fitzgerald (1996) A Little Book of Welsh Proverbs (Welsh and English). Belfast UK: Appletree Press


Diarhebion Hynafol / Ancient Proverbs

Ceir y diarhebion hynafol, canlynol ar y blog diddorol iawn o'r enw Sedulia's Quotations lle mae'r awdur wedi'u casglu nhw o sawl hen ffynhonnell. Yma, rydym ni wedi diweddaru'r sillafu ychydig, trwy, er enghraifft, droi 'fyno' yn 'fynno', heb newid ystyr yr ymadrodd. Rydym hefyd wedi darparu cyfieithiadau sydd ychydig mwy llythrennol i lawer o'r diarhebion, a rhoi ystyron lle roedd angen.

Mae'n ymddangos bod 'arwyddeiriau' hen deuluoedd yw llawr o'r rhain, ac felly ni fydd pobl yn eu defnyddio ym mywyd pob dydd heddi' fel rheol. Rydym yn eu rhannu nhw yma i ddangos sut y defnyddir iaith eitha' hynafol yn cynnwys ffurfiau ffurfiol a llenyddol iawn - ni fydd yn rhaid i ddysgwyr eu dysgu na'u defnyddio ar lafar!

The following ancient proverbs are found on the very interesting blog called Sedulia's Quotations where the author has collected them from several old sources. Here, we have updated the spelling a little, by, for example, turning 'fyno' into 'fynno', without changing the meaning of the phrase. We have also provided translations which as a little more literal for many of the proverbs, and given meanings where needed.

It appears that many of these are the 'mottoes' of old families, and so people don't use them in everyday life today as a rule. We are sharing them here to show how quite archaic language, containing very formal and literary forms, is used - there's no need for learners to learn or use them in speech.

A ddarleno ystyriedLet him who reads reflect
A ddialo air hagr rhoed ateb tegHe who would revenge a harsh word let him give a gentle reply
A ddwg angau nid adferWhat death takes it will not restore
A ddywedo pob un gwir ywWhat everyone says is true
A elwir yn gall a gais fod yn gallHe who is called wise will seek to be wise
A fo gâr iddo ei hun a gaiff pob un arall yn gâr iddoHe who is his own friend will have everyone else as his friend
A fo ysgafn galon ef a gânThe light-hearted will sing
A fynno barhau yn hir yn ieuanc aed yn ebrwydd yn henHe who wishes to stay young for a long time let him soon become old
A fynno barch bid gadarnHe who desires respect let him be strong
A fynno Duw derfidWhat God wills let it be done
A fynno ei fodd porthed amyneddWho desires to be satisfied let him feed patience
A fynno wrando bid gymarHe who would listens let him be a companion
A fynno iechyd bid lawenHe who desires health let him be cheerful
A gano yn ei wely, a gria cyn cysguHe who sings in his bed shall cry before sleeping
He who wishes his neighbour ill, shall come to ill himself
A gerir neu caseir a welir o bellHe who is loved or hated is seen from afar
A ystyrio gwnaedHe who considers: let him act
Mae adfail dedwydd yn ddiddosA joyful ruin is snug
Adfyd a bair i rai edrych o'u deutuAdversity causes some to look around them
Adfyd a ddaw â dysg yn ei lawAdversity brings instruction in its hand
Adfyd a phall a wna ddyn yn gallAdversity and failure make a man wise
Addawa y môr a'r mynyddHe promises the sea and the mountain
Addef yw tewiTo be silent is to confess
Ail natur yw greddf arferiadPractised instinct is second nature
Allan o olwg allan o feddwlOut of sight out of mind
Am y tywydd gorau tewiIt is best to be silent about the weather
Aml fai lle nis cerirMany are the faults where there is no-one loving
Amlwg cas a chariadHatred and love are conspicuous
Amod a dyr ddefodAn agreement will break a custom
Anaml lles o rodio'r nosSeldom is there benefit in wandering at night
Angen a dyr ddeddfNeed will break a law
Angwanegiad mefl mawrairAugmentation is the shame of boasting
Ar ddiwedd y mae barnuAt the end there is judging
A'r ni roddo na charu ni chaiff a ddymunoHe who neither gives nor loves shall not have what he desires
Arf glew yn ei galonThe weapon of the brave is in his heart
Arglwydd gwan, gwae ei wasWoe to the servant of a feeble lord
Asgre lân, diogel ei pherchenSafe is the owner of a pure heart
Ateb araf gan ddysgedigA slow answer from a wise man
Blwyddyn o eira, blwyddyn o lawndraYear of snow, year of plenty
Bo tynnaf y llinyn cyntaf y tyrThe tighter the string the sooner it will break
Bum gall unwaith, hynny oedd llefain pan y’m ganedI was wise once, that was crying when I was born
Byr ei hun, hir ei hoedlShort his sleep, long his life
Doeth pawb tra tawantAll are wise while they are silent
Hir nych yr angauLong is the languor of death
Ni chaiff chwedl nid êl o’i dŷHe gets no news who goes not from his house
Ni ŵyr neb lai na’r hwn a ŵyr y cyfanNo one knows less than he who knows all
Nid hawdd gwybod y cyfanIt is not easy to know everything
Pob hir nychdod hir angauEvery long pining is a long death
Plant gwirionedd yw hen ddiarhebionOld proverbs are the children of truth
Rhydd barn i bawbOpinion is free to all
Y doeth ni ddywed a ŵyrThe wise man does not say what he knows

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Mae Parallel.cymru yn gylchgrawn arlein i roi llais i unrhyw un sydd yn gwneud pethau trwy Iaith y Nefoedd, ac i gyflwyno erthyglau, straeon, diwylliant Cymraeg a llyfrau i’r byd.

Parallel.cymru is an online magazine that gives a voice to anyone who is using the language of heaven, and to introduce articles, stories, Welsh culture and books to the world.

Mae pobl yn profi’r Gymraeg ar gontinwwm o alluoedd gwahanol, ond y ffordd draddodiadol o gynhyrchu deunydd yw mewn dull deuol. Trwy gyflwyno cynnwys unigryw ochr yn ochr, yn ‘paralel’, ac wedi’u graddoli yn ôl hyfedredd (Anffurfiol, Ffurfiol, Llenyddol), gall darllenwyr o bob gallu fwynhau darllen a sicrhau bod y Gymraeg yn hygyrch i bawb.

People experience Welsh on a continuum of abilities, but the traditional way of producing material is as binary Welsh or English. By presenting unique content side by side, in parallel, sequenced by level of proficiency (Informal, Formal, Literary), readers of all abilities can enjoy reading and ensure the language is accessible to all.

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