Monday, October 18, 2004

wales, whales, wails?

in tradition of wales being, for some reason, the land of mystery (also see: leeks, daffodils & tom jones), its time to talk a bit about our neighbours to the southwest.

as learned last year, the french call Wales "pays de gaul" = "land of the gauls." irony being, france is the land of the gauls - who no longer exist.

Q: is turn about fair play?

A: evidently not. France in Welsh is "Ffainc," Gaul is "Gal," and Wales is "Cymru."

Q: huh. then where did the name "Wales" come from?

A: Evidently "Wales" is a bastardization of an old germanic word for 'strangers'.

to further confuse the issue, the french government has tried for the past OH SAY 800 years to exterminate Breton (Celtic language spoken by the inhabitants of Brittany, Breton is virtually the same language spoken in Wales) as a spoken language.

AND York in welsh is "Caerefrog." CaereFROG?

the franco-welsho rivalry here is obvious, if not completely understated.

in conclusion, what the hell is going on here? genetic origin envy? why is welsh on all my university cards when im 5 hours away from wales? who invented liquid handsoap and why?

totally unrelated note:
i bought a welsh dictionary today!


At 10:00 AM, Blogger MPC said...

It's mildly perturbing that we still can't get an answer to a seemingly simple question that was posed last freaking February.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger The Good Mr. M____ of F____ said...

agreed, but i think i got part of the answer when i learned the french call Passover "Jewish Easter." (Paque juif), if you know what i mean.

also interesting to note, of all the welsh people ive talked to here, most seem to have more hatred towards the french than the english. id be interested to talk to someone from brittany on the subject.


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