Every language is full of interesting idioms and sayings but some tend to be funnier than others, especially those whose figurative meaning seemingly has little, if anything to do with the actual meaning of the phrase.
In this article, we’ve picked out ten funny Welsh idioms that will surely make you chuckle the first (or tenth!) time you hear them. If you can think of any giggle-inducing idioms you’d like to share, be sure to drop us a line at the end of the article in the comments section! Diolch!
1. Fel cynffon buwch
Literal translation: like a cow’s tail
English meaning: to be late; to always be behind everyone else
Mae Rhys bob amser yn dod yn hwyr i’r gwaith fel cynffon buwch!
Rhys always gets to work later than everyone else!
2. Tynnu blewyn o drwyn
Literal translation: to pull a hair from the nose
English meaning: to do something to deliberately annoy someone; to put someone in their place; to goad or provoke
Mae’n hen bryd i rywun dynnu blewyn o drwyn y dyn hunan-bwysig yna!
It’s about time someone put that self-important man in his place!
Mae Robbie yn tynnu blewyn o drwyn Pedr drwy sôn am ei hanes gyda Carys.
Robbie is provoking Pedr by mentioning his relationship with Carys.
3. Tynnu nyth cacwn am dy ben
Literal translation: to pull a wasp’s nest onto your head
English meaning: to do or say something that simultaneously upsets a lot of people
Mae’r newyddiadurwyr wedi tynnu nyth cacwn am eu pennau am gefnogi Lloegr.
The journalists have caused a lot of upset by supporting England.
4. Berwi fel cawl pys
Literal translation: to boil like pea soup
English meaning: to talk incessantly
Roedd y bachgen yn berwi fel cawl pys.
The boy was chattering away incessantly.
5. Cadw draenog yn dy boced
Literal translation: to keep a hedgehog in your pocket
English meaning: to be cheap, tightfisted
Mae Jason yn cadw draenog yn ei boced – dydy o byth yn cynnig talu am ddim byd!
Jason is really cheap – he never offers to pay for anything!
6. A ddwg ŵy a ddwg fwy
Literal translation: he who steals an egg will steal more
English meaning: a leopard never changes its spots
Addawodd roi’r gorau i ysmygu ond des i o hyd i becyn o sigaréts yn ei ystafell. A ddwg ŵy a ddwg fwy!
He promised to stop smoking but I found a pack of cigarettes in his room. A leopard never changes its spots!
7. Bod yn draed moch
Literal translation: to be pig’s trotters
English meaning: to be a total mess
Mae’r cwmni trenau yn draed moch. Mae’r trenau bob amser yn cael eu canslo.
The train company is a real mess. The trains always get cancelled.
8. Heb ei fai, heb ei eni
Literal translation: he who has no faults has not been born
English meaning: nobody’s perfect
Mae pawb ar ryw adeg yn dweud pethau annoeth. Heb ei fai, heb ei eni.
Everyone at some point says unwise things. Nobody’s perfect.
9. Cael siom ar yr ochr orau
Literal translation: to have a disappointment on the best side
English meaning: to be pleasantly surprised
Mi gaethon ni siom ar yr ochr orau fod cymaint o bobl yn siarad Cymraeg.
We were pleasantly surprised that so many people spoke Welsh.
10. Mae mwy nag un ffordd o gael Wil i’w wely
Literal translation: there’s more than one way to get Wil to his bed
English meaning: there’s more than one way to skin a cat
Dydy’r dull hwn jyst ddim yn gweithio… – Wel, mae mwy nag un ffordd o gael Wil i’w wely!
This method just doesn’t work… – Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat!
Did you enjoy these funny Welsh idioms? Can you think of any others? If so, leave us a comment below!