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a language of Wales, belonging to the S Celtic branch of the Indo-European family. Welsh shows considerable diversity between dialects


a white long-bodied lop-eared breed of pig, kept chiefly for bacon
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a people living on the peninsula of Wales of Great Britain. The Welsh population is about 900,000, according to the 1970 estimate. Their native language is Welsh. Almost all Welsh people speak English. A significant number of believers belong to the Anglican Church; the other believers belong to nonconformist sects, mainly the Methodist Church.

The ancestors of the Welsh people were the Celtic tribes, the Cymru and Britons, which were driven into the hills of Wales by the Anglo-Saxons in the seventh century. Over the course of several centuries the Welsh steadily resisted their conquerors and were finally subdued only in the late 13th century. In southern Wales the people work mainly in industry (principally in the coal mines). In northern Wales the main occupation is agriculture (cattle raising). In the northern area, the Welsh language has been preserved to a certain degree, as well as indigenous features of material and spiritual culture.


Narody zarubezhnoi Evropy, vol. 2. Moscow, 1965. (Bibliography.)




Cymraeg, the language of the Welsh, who inhabit the peninsula of Wales, Great Britain. There are approximately 900,000 Welsh (1970 estimate). Most are bilingual. Welsh, together with Cornish and Breton, belongs to the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages. All of these languages trace back to Common British and separated in the fifth and sixth centuries. Welsh is divided historically into Old (eighth to 11th centuries), Middle (12th to 14th centuries), and Modern (since the 15th century) Welsh. The Modern Welsh language has four dialects: Venodotian (northwestern), Powysian (northeastern, central), Demetian (southwestern), and Gwentian (southeastern). The Welsh literary language developed from the southern and central dialects. Characteristic features of Welsh include, mor-phophonologically, a well-developed system of initial consonant sound shifts and vowel alternations and a fairly simple noun system. The verb system is highly developed; a tendency to replace old synthetic forms with new analytic constructions is observed in Modern Welsh. There are many lexical borrowings from Latin. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Welsh began to acquire official status in Wales. (Books and periodicals are published, and Welsh is taught at the university level.)


Morris-Jones, J.An Elementary Welsh Grammar. Oxford, 1953.
Collins-Spurrell Welsh Dictionary. Reedited by H. Lewis. London, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet much as I secretly envy the effortless, confident Welshness of all those bilingual babes called Nia who present stylish programmes on S4C before joining the Gorsedd, I also quite like my own mixed up brand of Cymric consciousness.
Do I foist upon them my Welshness, or do I allow them to default into being English by birth and place of upbringing?
Such is the desire nowadays not only to be Welsh, but to wear one's Welshness as a badge of pride, nay rebellion, that our children have been enlisted in the quest for ber-Welshness.
If only Wales had a Hogmanay then there would be an excuse to get together and celebrate Welshness like the Scots do but as it is all they can do is talk about it.
I used to be quite happy with the Welsh label being hung on me; now if I accidentally have a Welsh-based programme on my TV, I am embarrassed by the constant reminder of our Welshness.
According to the British thenwho are opposed to Wales having St David's day as a bank holiday to celebrate our Welshness; Finland should be bankrupt and the Finns destitute, for taking the day off.
Seemingly, his honouring was an unpopular choice with many protesters, so our hero, with his previously unfair comments about Wales and Welshness, is not too well appreciated in his own country.
From the outset the Labour Party in Wales attracted the non-Welsh elements of the population that regarded Welshness with suspicion or contempt.
REGARDING Dr Robyn LAwis' letter in the Daily Post (October 6), Dr LAwis draws a parallel between Estonian athletes' refusal to compete in the Moscow Olympics if the Soviet flag were to be used should they win medals and Welsh athletes having to "endure" the Great British Union Flag (or Union Jack as he inaccurately calls itSo are all Welsh athletes going to follow the Estonian example or are they to take the route of expediency and enter under the banner of Great Britain but proclaim their "Welshness" should they be successful?
I am forever reading in the Echo that 'Welshness' is being neglected.
She said the theme of the collection is the "mixed Welshness of Grangetown", the area across the river from Cardiff Bay.