With dynamic politics comes dynamic language

After the Romans abandoned Brython at the end of the 4th century, broad scale warring commenced as the lands south of Hadrian’s Wall tried to sort their own political structure out.

Between AD400 and AD 700, the Brythonic language mutated significantly as the language of the Ancient Romano-Britons merged with the incoming Germanic languages of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. It would shift again when the Vikings came, and then again during the Norman invasion another two centuries later.

But it means that the time I have chosen to set ‘y Ddraig’ was one of the most lingually dynamic times in the history of English language.

Some words we retain from their Celtic origins: bog, slogan, galore, whiskey, gob, glen, bard, and clan. The Celts also contributed the future tense ‘going to’ (as in ‘I’m going to harvest the field’) which is subtly different to the immediacy of the Anglo Saxon ‘will’ (‘I will harvest the field’).

Hard not to wonder if we can blame the early Britons for the round ‘tuit’ (as in ‘I’m going to get around to it’). A language shift that saw any number of things being postponed until tomorrow may not have done us any favours.