You simply cannot visit Wales without encountering “Y Ddraig Goch” – the iconic red dragon that adorns the Welsh flag, as well as most souvenirs you’ll end up buying in Wales.
The actual word for dragon in Welsh is draig but you’ll likely be more acquainted with its mutated form ddraig, occurring after the definite article ‘y’ (the). This is because draig is a feminine noun. (Masculine nouns don’t mutate after the definite article.) Note that ‘DD’ is pronounced in the same way as ‘TH’ in the English words ‘that’ ‘those’ or ‘then’.
The draig’s association with Wales can be traced back to Roman times. The Roman cavalry are believed to have used the dragon emblem on their standards and pennants. This emblem was later adopted by the Welsh kings in the early 5th century to symbolise authority. (Source: BBC Wales History)
Phrases and idioms using the word draig:
- Y ddraig goch ddyry cychwyn. (The red dragon leads the way.) – A line from the poem by Deio ab Iauan Du. It was added to the Royal Badge of Wales in 1953.