36 Things You Will Probably Only Understand If You Are Welsh

For those of you who don’t know – I am Welsh. I was born and raised in South Wales, in the steel working town of Port Talbot (or Port Toilet as the we liked to call it). I can’t say that the area I grew up in was the most picturesque; unless you like the look of steel works, BP chemical work or miles of council estate houses. And I can’t say that I didn’t chomp at the bit to leave. Yet I now find myself eager to move back to my roots – though probably not to the same council estate 😜

I think, no matter where in Wales you are born, there is a definite pride that comes with being Welsh. It’s hard to explain; it’s a tickle down deep in my soul that brings a smile to my face whenever I meet another Welsh person, hear about Wales, know I’m going to visit Wales or when we win at rugby 😉

Just to give you a taste of what it’s like to be Welsh, I’ve put together this handy, tongue-in-cheek list of the 36 things you will probably only understand if you are Welsh.

36 Things You Will Probably Only Understand If You Are Welsh

1) You put the words ‘you are’, ‘I do’, ‘I am’, ‘you do’, ‘isn’t it’, etc at the end of sentences — “I’m bloody freezing, I am.” “It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?”

2) “You’re Welsh?! So do you know *insert name of random Welsh person here*?” Um, there are over three million of us, and this blog isn’t that popular – yet.

3) The word llama completely stumps you.

4) You struggle not to put the word ‘like’ at the end of every sentence.

A woman with words floating around her head trying to concentrate.

5) It’s ‘togs’ and ‘daps’ not ‘rugby boots’ and ‘plimsolls’.

6) You’re ‘tampin’ not absolutely furious.

7) ‘Up North’ is located between Aberystwyth and Bangor.

8) You look forward to the Summer because the rain gets warmer.

A woman crying because she comes from Wales where it rains a lot.

9) You never get ill or poorly, you get ‘bard’.

10) If something is a huge amount of effort it’s a ‘potch’.

11) That coat is, indeed, my jacket.

12) You call your mother ‘mam’ (as in jam) not ‘mum’ or ‘mummy’.

Daughter and granddaughter kissing grandmother on cheeks.

Me, My Lovely ‘Mam’ and My Daughter

13) You always say thank you to the driver when you get off a bus.

14) A ‘scram’ is a small scratch — “The cat just scrammed me.”

15) The rest of the world has no idea where you are:

The results of a Google search for Wales showing what it's like to be Welsh.16) You save time by missing out syllables – “This pat-yo is fab-lus.”

17) But lose time by inserting extra words wherever possible – “Where to?” “By there.”

18) You shop in ‘Tescos’ and ‘Asdas’ not ‘Tesco’ and ‘Asda’.

19) Conversations with call centres can end in tears.

Women at an exchange centre proving the problems you have when you are Welsh.

20) You don’t need a cuddle, you need a ‘cwtch’.

21) You’re vocabulary includes the words: ‘fairplay’, ‘mun’, ‘innit’, “twp’ ‘lush’ and ‘tidy’.

22) You have to wear this to school every St David’s Day:

Vintage black and white image of a girl dressed in traditional Welsh costume.

Me Rocking My Welsh Costume

But you kind of like it.

23) It’s not unusual to be late for a meeting because you got stuck behind a tractor.

24) A ‘butty’ is a friend not a sandwich.

25) You need an art degree just to draw your country’s flag!

The Welsh Flag.

26) Drinking Brains doesn’t mean you’re a zombie, it means you’re sipping the local beer.

27) You watch Doctor Who, Torchwood or Sherlock and spend most of the episode shouting, “I’VE BEEN THERE!”

28) The pain of hearing the pronunciation of Welsh town names.

The town of Llangollen being mispronounced, just one of the 36 things you will probably only understand if your are Welsh.

29) People ask you to say, “What’s occurrin?”

30) “You’re Welsh? Oh, say that long town name!” – Do I look like a performing seal? And no, I can never remember it all.

31) You really confuse people when you tell them; “I’ll do it now, in a minute.”

32) Trying to find a long lost friend on Facebook is impossible.

The result of a search for David Davies on Facebook. #WelshProblems

33) Bands do a UK tour and completely miss your country.

34) You hear the same sheep joke over and over again.

35) When holidaying in America, you have to explain that Wales is not a state in England.

36) It’s impossible to translate ‘hiraeth’ into English but it means:

One of the 36 things you will probably only understand if you are Welsh - I bloody love Wales, I do!

I believe some of the above may be indicative to South Wales. Let me know in the comments if they are, or if I’ve missed anything off the list.




  1. March 3, 2016 / 11:49 am

    I fear I have no links to Wales, being of Northern Irish, Scottish, French and *ngl*sh extraction (sorry about the last one, no one is perfect). I did, however, date someone from Cwbran for a while (perhaps you know her? Anita?) I do, however, like your guide and now understand why a good friend of mine who has a Welsh brother in law refers to a cuddle as a cwtch. #BrillaintBlogPosts

    • March 3, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      Thank John!
      I won’t hold being English against you, my husband is from Yorkshire 🙂
      I too have a mixed background; I’ve got a smattering of Irish and more than a dash of Italian in me – I think the technical terminology for my heritage is mutt 🙂
      Alas, Anita is not an acquaintance – but I have been to Cwmbran on more than one occasion so we probably bumped into each other. As for the word ‘cwtch’, the first time I requested one from my husband, he didn’t know whether to be pleased or to run away!
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. March 16, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    I’m a Texan who doesn’t know a whole great lot about Whales…but have learned some great new tidbits from your post. Plus it made me smile n giggle a little. Whales sounds like a great place! Although home, wherever that might be, is always a great place 🙂

  3. Linda Swanson
    October 9, 2018 / 2:56 pm

    I enjoyed reading this very much. I live in beautiful Abergavenny but was born and spent my childhood in Tredegar – the same valleys town where Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS, was born. I don’t think you have missed many words or phrases out but one that my mother used when I got dirty out playing was “mochyn” meaning pig! Instead of “crouching down” we would “cwpy down”. Diolch yo Fawr (thank you) for your post. X

  4. Ingrid
    March 17, 2019 / 8:56 am

    From Newport so more English influences maybe? Also Norwegian mother. Many of these chime with me. Also cwpy down from above.
    Sadly I think my Welsh aunties were at school when Welsh was frowned on – punished for speaking- so didn’t pass on much. The stream at the bottom of our garden was a “ reen”. Not sure what spelling should be???

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