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Monmouth renamed Trefwynwy (Gas Egg Town) on official sign

29 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Trefwynwy – Gas Egg Town. Copyright: Andrew Ellis

Stephen Price

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.

“Andrew, dull man in Monmouth who is aware that this photo looks fake because the sun is shining in South Wales.”

Gas Egg Town

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’.

Tref Wy Nwy – Gas Egg 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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Paddy
Paddy
3 months ago

The actual words are tre-fwyn-wy. Mwyn wy is sort of a Faberge egg.

Last edited 3 months ago by Paddy
Pobun
Pobun
3 months ago
Reply to  Paddy

It could be tre fwy nwy, more gas town!

Cymro Penperllenni
Cymro Penperllenni
3 months ago

The A449 is a trunk road and therefore the responsibility of Welsh Government. Proof checking before producing the sign would safeguard against these kind of embarrassing issues

Sioned Huws
Sioned Huws
3 months ago

Or the mutated gwynwy – wynwy means egg white

Paul
Paul
3 months ago

The way I was taught it, there are 5 1/2 vowels in English, not just 5 : A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y.

Neilyn
Neilyn
3 months ago

Still beats Monmouth hands down. One day that name will be safely consigned to history along with Barmouth and all other Cymraeg-phobic mouths!

Dave
Dave
3 months ago

Surprised my ‘member’ for Monmouth hasn’t appeared in a picture next to the sign. Anything not directly to do with all those central government failures (i.e. the Tories) he’s normally straight there, vacuous comment always on tap. Come on TC, time’s running out…

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
3 months ago

After the Senedd making such a fuss over place names, and going to the expense of changing the signs, one might hope that they make sure they’re spelt right at the very least.

Or maybe it’s Tory meddling here as well.. Because we know our government is incapable of making a mistake. *Sarcasm*

Alun Thomas
Alun Thomas
3 months ago

Hold on. All new signs in Wales should have the Welsh above the English in any case!!

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
3 months ago
Reply to  Alun Thomas

This has always been the case in the ROI with the Irish Language above English.

Riki
Riki
3 months ago

Oh I’m sure it was by “accident”. Isn’t it always?!

Stephen Poole
Stephen Poole
3 months ago

It is actually Town on the Wye not Monnow

Asking the Obvious
Asking the Obvious
3 months ago

Surely Monmouth is a contraction of Monnow Mouth i.e. where the river Monnow joins the Wye.
Locally Monmouth is pronounced as mun muth or Myn mydd in welsh and which may have some deeper historic meaning. Sometimes spoken names change over time.
Trefynwy feels like a made up name by some department of Welsh Government! Does it have any heritage value?Town on the Wye may be closest way to make it.

Asking the Obvious
Asking the Obvious
3 months ago

Arent those two signs the wrong way up? The turn furthest away should be at the top.

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