Help with Howl: Rugby, Welshisms and saucepans

Charles Butler hannibal at
Wed Mar 16 08:35:02 EST 2005

Partial answers:

> What does "fly up the wing" mean, in Rugby?

Fly (i.e. run fast) up the wing (the side of the pitch - as in soccer). 
Howl, I imagine is one of those rugby players built for speed rather than 
brute strength. If you're not familiar with it, rugby bears a superficial 
resemblance to American Football (though without the padding or the frequent 
seminars). For a fuller explanation than you really want, see this page: There are 
two kinds, incidentally, Rugby Union and Rugby League. Howl almost certainly 
plays the former.

> Are the Welsh known to be particularly musical, or just the opposite? 
> (Howl
> bemoans being born "an unmusical Welshman")

They are indeed known as a musical nation, with a particular reputation for 
choral music.

> Can someone elaborate on the origin of the phrase "welcome in the 
> valleys"?

It comes from a song, 'There'll be a welcome in the valleys...' etc. I can't 
find the lyrics, but IIRC it's addressed not to visitors but to Welshpeople 
who have had the misfortune to find themselves in other parts of the world, 
and are suffering the effects of hiraeth (a particularly virulent form of 
homesickness to which the Welsh are vulnerable). It assures them that they 
will be welcomed back should they return.

> "Cariad" = dearest or darling in Welsh?

Yes. The kind of affectionate endearment a couple might use to each other, 
or an adult to a young child.

> Is Howell a particularly Welsh name?

Exclusively so, I'd say. Hwyl would be the Welsh spelling, I think.

> I'm almost done translating and am now proofing and improving.

Congratulations, Gili!


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