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Poll: Majority want Wales’ highest peak to be referred to as Snowdon not Yr Wyddfa

18 May 2021 4 minutes Read
Yr Wyddfa. The image is released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

Most Welsh adults want Wales’ highest peak to be referred to as Snowdon and not Yr Wyddfa, according to a new poll.

The survey conducted by YouGov found that 60% prefer the mountain to be primarily known by its English name, while 30% percent think it should be known firstly by its Welsh language name, and 10 % don’t know.

It follows a motion by Cllr John Pughe Roberts that it should only be referred as Yr Wyddfa, which was rejected by Snowdonia National Park Authority, stating that the issue was already being looked into.

The poll also found that Welsh and English speakers tended to view the subject differently to each other.

Over half of Welsh speakers (59%) would rather see the 1,085m mountain primarily known as Yr Wyddfa. Of this group, some 37% think Snowdon should also continue to be used, and not scrapped entirely.

At 69%, the opinion of those who do not speak or read Welsh is firmly in favour of keeping Snowdon as the mountain’s primary name.

Wales’ youngest adults, aged between 16 and 24, are split almost down the middle over the prospect, with 43% in favour of the Welsh name, and 44% preferring the use of Snowdon.

However older adults prefer the use of Snowdon, including 66% of those aged 65 and over.

On the YouGov website it says: “In Welsh folklore, King Arthur buried a giant, Rhitta Gawr, under a cairn (pile of stones) that over time formed the mountain many of us know as today Snowdon. However the mountain has another name in Welsh: Yr Wyddfa.

“Last week, a Welsh councillor called upon Snowdonia National Park authorities to refer to Wales’ highest peak primarily by its traditional Welsh name instead of Snowdon – a prospect they are considering.

“A YouGov survey of over 1,000 Welsh adults reveals that six in ten (60%) prefer the mountain to be known as Snowdon – which comes from old English for ‘Snow hill’ or ‘Snow dune’. However, some 30% think it should be known firstly by its Welsh name Yr Wyddfa, which refers to a barrow or burial mound.”

‘Motion’ 

The motion put before Snowdonia National Park Authority said: “That the authority hereafter uses only the authority’s Welsh name for the authority and that this becomes relevant in any language i.e. ‘Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri’ and never uses ‘Snowdonia National Park’ again.

“The same should apply to ‘Yr Wyddfa’ – never to use the name ‘Snowdon’ for it again.”

Following the decision to reject the motion, Cllr John Pughe Roberts told Nation.Cymru: “I’m disappointed that they don’t have any confidence in the Welsh language. For me, we need to have confidence in the Welsh language, and there’s no point talking about independence if we haven’t got any confidence in the language.

“It’s gone to another committee – kicking the can down the road. I’m not happy of course. It’s a bureaucratic way of doing it.

“They’ve decided to put it to a committee and see what the committee says. They rejected this motion.

“To tell the truth Cllr Edgar Owen from Waunfawr, he opposed the motion, and he didn’t want to speak about the motion to be honest.

“They didn’t talk about it a lot. I was pretty disappointed that every Plaid Cymru member apart from one voted to oppose the motion.”

SNPA Chair Wyn Ellis Jones said: “Authority members decided that there was no need to consider the motion today as a Welsh Place Names Task and Finish Group has already been appointed.

“This follows previous consideration by the Members in a Working Group which recommended to establish and adopt guidelines to guide the use of place names by the SNPA. Members will consider these issues once the Task and Finish group is able to make recommendations.

“The Authority is committed to protect and promote the use of native place names for everyday use and future generations.”

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CJPh
CJPh
6 months ago

Poll shows majority of Welsh people say blah blah blah blah blah. Is anyone else sick of polls? Diwedd y byd, who cares? Gwastraff amser a phapur! Our culture exists, thankfully, both guarded and developed by those who embrace it – not by some agreed upon, democratic mandate. Art, Science and culture are not really the sort of thing that one should form opinions on via polls; they are beyond the realm of pure utility. Plus, people lie, people change their minds and people will often answer via a gut feeling and not because they’ve thought deeply about what they’re… Read more »

William Glyn THOMAS
William Glyn THOMAS
6 months ago

When are they going to hold a poll on whether the capital of England should be Llundain? Towns should be named by the name given by the indigenous people. So I propose we ignore this stupid poll and know our highest mountain by its true name Yr Wyddfga

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

I say Yr Wyddfa to Welsh speaking friends and Snowdon to friends without Welsh. No problem. Does Everest have a Tibetan name?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Chomolungma if approached from the Chinese side and Sagarmatha from Nepal.

defaid
defaid
6 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Chomolungma. And Sagarmatha in Nepal, which is the name I’d use when speaking with a Nepali. But if I’m talking to the English… Everest.

Dwi byth yn defnyddio’r enw Snowdon yng Nghymraeg, a byth yn dweud Yr Wyddfa yn Saesneg.

Phil
Phil
6 months ago

Mount McKinley is also known as Denali and it the highest peak in North America and the 3rd highest isolated peak in world. I am sure us Welsh can allow both names to be used depending how strongly you feel about it!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago

The one positive from this is that the (original) Welsh name has come to greater public awareness among the anglophone Welsh, and almost certainly won’t go away. I have made a pact with myself to henceforth always refer to the mountain as Yr Wyddfa and to go through the inevitable explanation if necessary

Paul Hoskins
Paul Hoskins
6 months ago

There should not even be any debate on this issue. It is a mountain in Cymru, why on earth should it have an English name at all.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago

22% of adults in Wales and 44% of those in Powys were born in England. Were they discounted in the weighting of this poll?
Did you know that 78% of 93 women prefer a certain shampoo and 78% of 93 is 72.54 women?

John Brooks
John Brooks
6 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

I am born in England, I live in Powys. It is Yr Wyddfa. I support Independence for all the people of Wales, regardless of where they were born. Don’t assume all English residents of Wales are anti Cymraeg or anti Cymru. As your figures show they need to be won over if WE are ever to by independent. Cymru am byth.

CJPh
CJPh
6 months ago
Reply to  John Brooks

Clywch Clywch, Cymru rhydd i ni’r Cymry rhydd. Those who decide to live in Wales clearly don’t hate it here. Whether the majority regard Cymru as a sepearte nation, and one deserving of independent statehood is another thing. Regarding those born outside Cymru as ‘the opposition’ will ensure our place in this broken union more effectively than any unionist party leader. The principle of self determination should be presented as a non party political, positive option for any and all who live in and love Wales. We’ll say Yr wyddfa, let others say Snowdon, Swansea is at least as old… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Many of them can’t pronounce Cardiff properly so Caerdydd would present an impossible challenge !

Salsa Pit
Salsa Pit
6 months ago

If it is going to be decided by a public poll, may I make a suggestion and include MountyMcMountainface as a possible alternative to take the heat out of this crucial question during a pandemic and period of climate change.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago
Reply to  Salsa Pit

Certainly you may, if you want everyone to think you’re an idiot.

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