An Eisteddfod Glossary

  • Archdderwydd Arch-druid, leader of the Gorsedd
  • awdl A long poem in one of the traditional cynghanedd metres (often translated as “strict metrical verse”)
  • bardd (plural beirdd) Bard, i.e. poet, especially an entrant in one of the competitions; within the hierarchy of the Gorsedd, the Beirdd (also known as Cerddorion or Llenorion) are the middle rank, dressed in blue
  • Cadeirio Chairing of the Bard, the ceremony in which a hand-carved throne is awarded to the winner of the competition for a long poem in cynghanedd (“strict metrical verse”)
  • Coroni Crowning of the Bard, the ceremony in which a crown is awarded to the winner of the “free” verse competition, i.e. not cynghanedd
  • cymanfa ganu Communal hymn-singing event, such as the one in the Pavilion which closes the Eisteddfod – non-competitive for once!
  • cynghanedd Traditional Welsh verse-form involving complex patterns of rhyme and alliteration, sometimes known as “strict metrical verse”
  • Dawns y Blodau The Dance of the Flowers, performed by flower girls (from local primary schools) to welcome the new bard to the stage
  • Derwydd (plural Derwyddon) Druid: the “druids” are the most senior rank of the Gorsedd, dressed in white
  • eisteddfodwr (feminine eisteddfodwraig) Eisteddfod-goer
  • ffugenw Bardic name, the pen-name adopted by bards entering the poetry competitions, and under which the results are announced
  • Gorsedd, Gorsedd y Beirdd The assembly or “Court” of the Bards, famous for their colourful costumes
  • heddwch! “Peace!” – the cry of the assembled masses when the new Bard is symbolically threatened with a giant sword
  • maes yr Eisteddfod (or simply y maes) The Eisteddfod field itself
  • llenor (plural llenorion) The middle rank of the Gorsedd, recognisable by their blue robes
  • ofydd (plural ofyddion) “Ovate”: the lowest rank of the Gorsedd, dressed in green robes
  • Pafiliwn The enormous central marquee (capacity 4,000) where the main ceremonies take place
  • prifardd Literally, “chief bard”: any winner of a bardic prize, and thus ex-officio a member of the senior order of the Gorsedd, the “druids”
  • pryddest A long poem in “free verse”, i.e. not cynghanedd
  • stondin Any of the hundreds of stalls on the maes, in the form of a marquee, trailer, caravan or whatever
  • ymryson y beirdd [‘the contest of the bards’] or talwrn y beirdd [‘the cockpit of the bards’] Versifying competition where rival teams of bards are given just a few minutes to complete a verse or couplet in cynghanedd

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© 2000–2001 Harry Campbell
Page added: July 2000