My Favourite Welsh Word – Hiraeth (837)

For many, it’s the Welsh word Cwtch that is usually referred to in the context of a favourite.

Translated as a cuddle or a safe place, it’s a great word and carries lots of meaning. My favourite though, just edging cwtch is hiraeth, Like the former, it doesn’t have an exact corresponding word in English.

It means a sense of longing for Wales; feeling homesick I guess is a good way to describe it. It was an emotion that I experienced way back before I even came across the word itself.

In fact it was a conversation that I had with a fluent Welsh speaker some years ago, who pointed out to me that the way that I felt was summed up by one particular word. Hiraeth.

Whenever I go to Wales there’s always a part of me that feels I’m going home. I’ve been to Scotland numerous times in recent years, passing through the English Lake District. Both are stunning as far as scenery is concerned.

However, it’s Wales that does it for me. I love being in the natural world of my ancestors. Hiraeth indeed.

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