Derivation of "Wales"

Julia PĆ¼hrer julia.puehrer at
Fri Sep 23 12:57:41 UTC 2005

Re: Derivation of "Wales"I've recently read about this derivation, too - in a 1974 book by Louis-Jean Calvet in which he writes about the role of language in colonialism.

He mentions there that welsh is derived from an Old English word that meant "foreigner" (while, interestingly but sadly, the "Welsh" had called themselves cymry before that, meaning "native" or "indigenous").

Kind regards,

Julia Puehrer 
Vienna, Austria

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Kephart, Ronald 
  To: lgpolicy-list at 
  Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 2:26 PM
  Subject: Re: Derivation of "Wales"

     I doubt Ron's derivation of Wales.  I understand it comes from  Galicia  of which there was one in old Anatolia, hardly a place where Old English was spoken.

     Christina Paulston

  Christina, I could be wrong. I'm going by my American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New College Edition (1980), which gives the etymology as:

  Middle English Wales, Old English Wealas, [...] plural of wealh, foreigner, Roman, Celt, Welshman.


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