Common names for invertebrates can tell us about the historical and cultural relationships we have with wildlife, many have interesting origins. Some of the names for invertebrates in the Welsh language are quite literal, and some are really wonderful.
The Welsh name for centipede “neidr gantroed” means “hundred-footed snake”. And ladybird “buwch goch gota” means “small red cow”!
Lots of British common names for dragonflies indicate an association with snakes, in Welsh the name “gwas y neidr” means “adder’s servant”.
Across the UK, woodlouse has many different common names, and Wales is no exception. Welsh language names for woodlouse that we have found include “twrch coed” which means “tree hog”, “pryf y lludw” which means “ash insect”, and “gwrach y lludw” which translates as “witch of the ashes”!
Here are some Welsh words for invertebrates, do you know any others?
ladybird buwch goch gota
butterfly pili pala
grasshopper ceiliog rhedyn
earthworm pryf genwair
centipede neidr gantroed
woodlouse twrch coed, pryf y lludw, gwrach y lludw
dragonfly gwas y neidr
Wales is home to lots of amazing invertebrates – find out more about our work in Wales.