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  • Ann Parry Owen

Y bugail, ei gi a'i ddefaid

(Scroll down for the English version)

Ymysg y rhestrau geiriau a luniodd yr ysgrifwr John Jones o Gellilyfdy yng ngharchar y Fflyd rhwng 1631 a 1633, y mae sawl rhestr sy’n ymwneud â gwaith yr amaethwr gan gynnwys y da byw yn ei ystyr letaf, sef anifeiliaid y fferm. Rwyf wedi bod yn ar un o’r rhestrau hyn yr wythnos hon: Y bugail a’i berthynas (‘y bugail defaid a’r hyn sy’n berthnasol iddo’), ac mae dau air yn arbennig wedi achosi tipyn o grafu pen i mi, sef ystofi defaid ac ystofiad (ac ystofiad yn amlwg yn cyfeirio at y weithred o ystofi defaid).

Daw’r geiriau hyn ar ddechrau’r rhestr: enwir y bugail (a’r lluosog bugeiliaid a bugelydd), ei grefft yw bugeila, ac wrth ei waith bydd yn corlannu defaid mewn corddlan / corlan (dwy ffurf ar yr un gair). Rhwng y geiriau corddlan a corlannu defaid y daw ystofi defaid ac ystofiad, a chan mai geirfa wedi ei threfnu’n thematig yn ôl ystyr yw hon, mae’n rhaid cadw’r lleoliad mewn cof wrth ddyfalu’r ystyr.

Mae tair berf ystofi yn cael eu rhestru yng Ngeiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (GPC), a’r tair yn ddigon hen a pharchus:

  • ystofi1: ‘trefnu edafedd yn ystof’ (term o fyd y gwehydd), a defnydd ffigurol ohoni yng nghyswllt rhoi trefn ar bethau eraill, fel tŷ (dechrau’r 17g. ymlaen)

  • ystofi2: ‘cyflwyno’, gair o’r Saesneg stow, fel yn bestow (1672 ymlaen)

  • ystofi3: ‘dofi, darostwng’, yn cynnwys y ferf dofi. (16g. ymlaen)

Gallwn ddiystyru ystofi2. Ystyriais ddefnydd ffigurol o ystofi1 yn ofalus: y syniad o roi trefn ar ddefaid sydd â thuedd naturiol ynddynt i fynd ar chwâl, gan eu dychmygu’n ymlwybro i mewn i’r gorlan, yn drefnus fesul un fel mae edafedd y gwehydd wedi eu gosodiad ar y gwŷdd. A’r un syniad yn fras o ran ystofi3, a’r defaid yn ymddwyn yn ‘ddof’ wrth ‘ddarostwng’ i ddymuniad y bugail. Er nad oedd y naill na’r llall yn taro deuddeg yn llawn, teimlwn fod potensial gan y ddwy ferf.

Yna, fel sy’n digwydd yn aml, digwyddais ddod ar draws esboniad posibl arall, wrth chwilota mewn llyfr am rywbeth hollol wahanol. Y llyfr oedd cyfrol hyfryd Hugh Evans, Cwm Eithin (Lerpwl, 1933), sy’n disgrifio bywyd cefn gwlad yn ardal Llangwm, yn yr hen sir Ddinbych, yng nghanol y 19g. Wrth chwilota drwy’r tudalennau daliodd y pennawd ‘Diwrnod Hel Defaid fy sylw. Yno esbonia Hugh Evans mai dal defaid a wnâi cŵn y bugail erstalwm ac mai arfer cymharol ddiweddar oedd defnyddio ci i hel defaid at ei gilydd. Esbonia:


Y pryd hynny [h.y. pan oedd yn blentyn], nid oedd y ci hel wedi dyfod i Gymru, dim ond y ci dal, fel y byddai’n rhaid i’r holl deulu droi allan i hel defaid. Y gwahaniaeth rhwng ci dal a chi hel defaid yw hyn. Arfer y ci dal oedd rhedeg ar ôl y ddafad a ddangosid iddo, a’i dal gerfydd ei gwar, a hynny’n dyner heb adael ôl ei ddannedd ar y ei chroen … Nid oedd y ci dal lawer o werth i hel y defaid at ei gilydd.


Felly darostwng y ddafad, ei dofi yn yr ystyr o wneud iddi ildio i ddymuniad y ci, sef aros yn llonydd nes bod y bugail yn cyrraedd ‘ac yn rhoddi’r cwplws am ei gwddf, ac yn hwylio tuag adref’! Ystofi3, felly.


Mewn rhestr arall, lle mae John Jones yn enwi’r gwahanol fathau o gŵn, cawn y pâr bugeilgi a dafatgi – ond nid oes sôn am gi defaid, sy’n gyfuniad dipyn diweddarach (1848 yw’r dystiolaeth gynharaf drosto yn GPC). Felly i bob pwrpas mae gwahaniaeth rhwng y dafatgi, sef y ci dal defaid, a’r ci defaid, sef y ci hel defaid. Ac o ran dafatgi, wrth gwrs, mae’n dilyn patrwm yr hen eiriau traddodiadol eraill: adargi ‘ci dal adar’, hyddgi ‘ci dal hyddod’, &c.

Y cyfan a erys bellach o ran y ferf ystofi, yw darganfod dyfyniad sy’n sôn am ddafatgi yn ystofi dafad. Gadewch i mi wybod os cewch hyd i un!

Nodiadau


The shepherd, his dog and sheep

Amongst the wordlists that the scribe John Jones of Gellilyfdy produced between 1631 and 1633, whilst incarcerated in the Fleet Prison, are several concerning the work of a farmer, including lists relating to livestock. It is one of these lists that I’ve been working on this week: ‘The Shepherd and related items’, and two entries in particular have been rather perplexing, namely ystofi defaid and ystofiad (the first a verb whose object is defaid ‘sheep’, and the second a noun relating to the action of the verb).


These words are found at the beginning of the list: the bugail ‘shepherd’ is named (plural bugeiliaid and bugelydd), his craft is bugeilio (‘shepherding’, ‘tending the sheep’), including corlannu defaid in a corddlan / corlan (‘placing sheep in a fold or pen’). The words ystofi defaid and ystofiad come between corddlan and corlannu, and this is important to remember, as the list follows a thematic rather than an alphabetical order.

There are three verbs ystofi listed in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (GPC)

  • ystofi1: ‘to arrange threads so as to form a warp’ (a weaving term), and more generally used for putting other things in order, such as a house (early 17th century onwards)

  • ystofi2: ‘bestow’, from the English stow, as in bestow (1672 onwards)

  • ystofi3: ‘to tame, subdue’, containing the verb dofi ‘to tame’ (16th century onwards)

We can rule out ystofi2. I considered the figurative use of ystofi1: the idea of trying to organize sheep whose natural tendency it is to scatter, imagining them stepping methodically into a pen, one by one, just as the weaver’s threads are laid out on the loom. Similarly with ystofi3, the idea that sheep are tamed as they yield to the shepherd’s wishes and behave as he wants them to. I felt that both verbs had potential despite not being quite right.

Then, as often happens, I came across another possible explanation whilst looking in a book for something completely different. The book was Hugh Evans’s Cwm Eithin (Liverpool, 1933), which is a wonderful description of rural life in Llangwm, in the old Denbighshire, in the middle of the 19th century. Whilst flicking through its pages I happened upon the heading ‘Sheep herding day’, where Hugh Evans explains that the shepherd’s dog used to restrain sheep in the past, and that the practice of using a dog to herd sheep is a fairly recent one. He explains:

Y pryd hynny, nid oedd y ci hel wedi dyfod i Gymru, dim ond y ci dal, fel y byddai’n rhaid i’r holl deulu droi allan i hel defaid. Y gwahaniaeth rhwng ci dal a chi hel defaid yw hyn. Arfer y ci dal oedd rhedeg ar ôl y ddafad a ddangosid iddo, a’i dal gerfydd ei gwar, a hynny’n dyner heb adael ôl ei ddannedd ar y ei chroen… Nid oedd y ci dal lawer o werth i hel y defaid at ei gilydd.

At that time [i.e. when he was a child], the ci hel ‘herding dog’ had not yet arrived in Wales, there was only the ci dal ‘restraining dog’, so that the whole family would have to turn out to gather in the sheep. The difference between a ci dal and a ci hel is this. The ci dal’s way of working was to run after a sheep that had been shown to it, and to grasp that sheep by its neck, very gently and without leaving any teeth marks on its skin ... The ci dal was not much use in gathering sheep together.

The dog’s role therefore was to restrain the sheep, ‘taming’ (dofi) it in the sense of making it submit to the dog’s will, staying still until the shepherd arrived and put a leash on it before heading back home. Ystofi3, therefore.

In another list, where John Jones names various breeds of dog, we find the pair bugeilgi and dafatgi – but there is no mention of ci defaid, which is a much more recent collocation (the earliest occurrence in GPC is dated 1848). There seems therefore to be a distinction between the dafatgi, the dog which catches and restrains (dal) sheep, and the ci defaid, the dog which rounds up sheep. And dafatgi, of course, follows the pattern of the other old traditional names: adargi ‘bird-hunting dog’, hyddgi ‘deerhound’, &c.

All that remains then, as far as the verb ystofi is concerned, is to discover a quotation which mentions a dafatgi restraining (ystofi) a sheep. Do please let me know if you find one!


Notes

  • National Library of Wales, Peniarth 305, fol. 62v.

  • Hugh Evans, Cwm Eithin (Liverpool, 1933), 142.


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