Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch or

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll to those who wish to shorten it

(or write it as their address!).


What is it?

A Welsh village with the longest name in Britain as well as a train station with the longest name.


What does it mean?

Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.


How do you pronounce it?

LLAN - FAIR - PWLL - GWYN - GYLL - GO - GER - YCH - WYRN - DROB - WLL - LLAN - TY - SILIO - GO - GO - GOCH

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll

LLAN

To start off with, pronounce this section as you would do the Scottish word “clan”.


It is difficult to explain in words and is more easily learnt by oral example, but we will have a go here anyway. Lie your tongue flat in your mouth so that the tip is firmly touching the bridge behind your front teeth. Keeping the tip of your tongue in place, try and touch your back teeth with the sides of your tongue - now breathe out forcing the air to run strongly over the back of your tongue. This will cause a vibrating noise near your back teeth. Again, keeping the tongue in position, gently change the shape of your tongue until the sound becomes more controlled. This is the “ll” sound you are looking for.

FAIR

Simply pronounce this section as you would the English word “fire”, (not like you would expect to pronounce the word “fair” in English!) and change the “f” for a “v”.

PWLL

Now you have been practising your “"ll” sound this will be a little easier to explain. The “pw” section is pronounced like the “pu” in the English word “put”. Now add the “ll” on the end as described above.

GWYN

You may have heard the Welsh name “Gwyn”, well this is pronounced in exactly the same way. Just say the English word “win” and put a “g” in front of it (pronounce the “g” as you would in the word “gone”). Easy.

GYLL

This is a bit more tricky. First say the English word “gil” (as associated with fish!). Then change the “l” (as in “let”) to “ll” as explained above.

GO

Looks easy doesn't it? It is! Pronounce it as you would the “go” in “gone”.

GER

Simply say the word “care” but change the “c” for a “g”.

YCH

Like the pronunciation of “ll”, this is another tricky section to explain. Think of something you don’t like and say “yuck”. Now take the “y” from the beginning to leave “uck”. Now change the “ck” to “ch” as pronounced in the Scottish word “loch”.

WYRN

This looks more complicated that it is. Just say the English word “win”.

DROB

First say the English word “draw” and then add a “b” on the end. Easy.

WLL

You’ve learnt this already. It’s pronounced the same as “pwll” above but without the “p”.

LLAN

Again, this is exactly the same as the “llan” at the beginning of this section.

TY

Simply pronounce this section as you would the “t” in “twig”.

SILIO

Just say “silly-o”. The “o” is pronounced as in “cot”.

GO

As above.

GO

As above.

GOCH

We’re almost there! Simply say “go” as above, put the “ch” after it and that’s it! Put it all together and keep on practising!

Trivia

  • Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is the proper name of the village, it was lengthened in order to attract the tourists in the 1860s.
  • The name was used in the 1960s cult film Barbarella (Jane Fonda) as the password for Dildano’s headquarters.
  • The name features in the Anglesey edition of Monopoly.
  • The first ever meeting of the Women's Institute took place in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll in 1915.
  • The Welsh band Super Furry Animals called their debut E.P. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgoger­ychwyrndrobwllllantysil­iogogogoch (In Space).

Image credits (clockwise from top):

comedynose, Flickr.com

Llanfair Hall

Llanfair Hall

Llanfair Hall