Monmouth renamed Trefwynwy (Gas Egg Town) on official sign
An eagle-eyed driver has spotted a sign for Monmouth which has been mistranslated as Trefwynwy – the Welsh for ‘Gas Egg town’.
Sharing his photo on the popular Facebook page Dull Men’s Club, Andrew Ellis wrote: “I have written to Monmouthshire County Council to raise concerns about the signage on the A449.
“We have spelt the name of our own town wrong. Monmouth in Welsh is Trefynwy. We seemed to have added an extra w to make it Trefwynwy. I’m not sure that we need to add any more consonants to our language.
Anyone familiar with Welsh, or at least familiar with Monmouth, will know that the town’s Welsh name is Trefynwy, meaning ‘Town on the Monnow’.
A quick Google translate of the new name, however, gives us ‘Gas Egg Town’.
Gwynwy / Wynwy is the Welsh for ‘egg white’ so there is also the option of it being called Tref Wynwy – ‘Egg White Town’.
Sharing a screenshot of the new moniker in Google Translate, Andrew told Nation.Cymru: “There’s a chance that the misspelling actually translates to ‘Gas Egg Town’ and the sign has possibly been like that for a couple of decades.
“No one’s quite sure how long the sign has been there for but it’s certainly not new!”
Seeing the lighter side of things, he said: “I had intended that the story was a celebration of how mild to moderately dull I am for reporting misspelled signs. I hadn’t really intended it to be a criticism of the council or of sign writers.
“I understand from Monmouthshire county council that it counts as a ‘trunk’ road and that the national government are responsible for the condition of their own trunks. That creates a mental image that I don’t find particularly pleasing so I’ll move on.”
Andrew’s post led to some discussion (or a “near civil war” as he put it) regarding the misheld belief that many Welsh words don’t have any vowels in, with Andrew having to explain that there are 7 vowels (A, E, I, O, U, W, Y) in the Welsh language, as opposed to 5 in English.
Trellech / Trelech / Tryleg
A bone of contention Andrew does have with the standardisation of Welsh place names close to his home town, however, is the loss of different spellings that have equal weight in both accuracy and history – most often due to being written down before the standardisation of the Welsh alphabet itself.
He said: “I actually live in Trellech, five miles outside of Monmouth. I’m a bit more passionate about how after decades / centuries of not having a standardised spelling for the village and every road having a different name spelling as you approach it, this was recently changed.
“The tradition was lost seemingly overnight with the welcome to Trellech / Trelech / Tryleg signs being replaced by one standardised spelling that I am not sure we formally agreed to. It’s a shame because we were known nationally for that.
“Sadly, the new signs aren’t as classy as the previous black and white ones either as they resemble more of a mucus green colour which is unfortunate.”
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