Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 14:27:39 +0000 From: Jim Rader Subject: Re: welsh/welch and taffy When I was in regular contact with native Welsh speakers a number of years ago I had the definite impression / was considered an ethnic slur. No matter its true origin, it was perceived as referring to the Welsh. is also derogatory when used by non-Welshmen, but I think it may be used in self-reference more or less jocularly, especially in the Anglicized parts of Wales. Pace W3, the notion that is somehow modified from Welsh looks quite implausible. There are two equivalents of "David" in Welsh: /'de wi/ (a British Celtic borrowing from ecclesiastical Latin, with vowel affection and loss of the final voiced fricative) and /'da v[barred i][edh]) in North Wales, /'da vi[edh]/ in South Wales (a medieval Welsh borrowing ). is rendered in Welsh by the fixed collocation . I doubt that Welshmen would associate either or with ; if anyone has evidence to the contrary, it would be of interest. A more plausible source of might be the river Taff, which flows through Cardiff--at least it fits phonetically. The slangism has a variant , though it's attested much more recently. The Morris's --I'm amazed it's still in print--is of value only as a collection of etymology folklore. Jim Rader