Ceri Shaw



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The Welsh Tattoo Handbook - A Review

user image 2020-10-30
By: Ceri Shaw
Posted in: Book Reviews

A must read for anyone contemplating a Welsh themed tattoo. This book has everything you will need!

In the foreword we learn that:

"This book aims to help you choose a Welsh tattoo wisely, confidently, and safely. It offers a glossary to help you. Beyond the glossary, this book provides enough of an introduction to the Welsh language to support you in your desire to honour it. You may even be interested in learning how to join the hundreds of thousands of people who speak it."

Authors, Robert and Meagan Davies , deliver generously on their pledge to support your decision making with chapters on 'Features of the Language' , 'Choosing  A Welsh Tattoo' , 'Translation Tips' and more, but it is perhaps the Welsh Tattoo Glossary section which will prove most valuable to readers.  This comprises a 400+ glossary of words and phrases arranged into thematic categories. 

Let's suppose for instance that you wanted a simple tattoo to celebrate your Welsh heritage and origin. You might try the 'Place and Identity' section in which you will find such entries as:- Gwlad fy nghalon yw Cymru  = Wales, land of my heart  or Cymru am byth = Wales forever. In the 'Love and Friendship section we find dedications of a more personal nature e.g. Cariad tragwyddol = Eternal Love or perhaps more prosaically Cymheiriaid = Partners.

The glossary sections (full list below) are sure to provide inspiration for whatever theme you care to adopt.

Place & Identity , Family, Love and Friendship, In Memoriam, Relgion and Spirituality, Courage, Honour and Service, Work Activities and Identities, Emotions, Qualities and Concepts, Personal Mottos and Sayings, Quotes From Popular Culture and Song, Traditional Welsh Sayings and Proverbs

The authors hail fr om Alabama in the United States so the Welsh diaspora is not overlooked. Useful phrases you will find translations for include:

Gwnaed yn America o rannu Cymreig = Made in America of Welsh parts ,   Gwnaed yng Nghanada o rannu Cymreig = Made in Canada of Welsh parts

Welsh tattoo symbols

But what of the image I hear you ask? Chapter three includes an introduction to many of the most popular symbols and emblems and also includes an explanation of their significance in Welsh history and cultrure. In short everything is here to enable you to choose your tattoo design and dedication, as the authors say, 'wisely, confidently and safely.'

Dedicated to John Good ( Americymraeg tutor) and the Welsh Society of Arizona, the book also has several chapters which serve as a basic introduction to the language for those who are unfamiliar with it. Hopefully, the book will inspire readers to learn the Welsh language after selecting their tattoo design and inscription.

In conclusion we cannot recommend this book highly enough. For anyone who is thinking of getting a tattoo to celebrate their Welsh heritage 'The Welsh Tattoo Handbook' will prove invaluable. If it inspires you to go on and master the Welsh language as well, then so much the better.



The Welsh Tattoo Handbook is available from bradan press. Price: $11.99 US | $14.99 CDN | £7.99 UK | €9.99 EU | $14.99 AUS