Kidwelly place names
Today the town is known as Kidwelly in English, Cydweli in Welsh.
To hear how to pronounce Cydweli, press play: Or, download mp3 (14KB)
According to Professor Hywel Wyn Owen, documentary evidence for the name is as follows: Cadweli 1114, (provincia) Cetgwueli 11th century, Cedgwueli c.1150, Kedwely c.1191, Kydwelly 1458, kydweli 1566.
The name means “territory of Cadwal”. The derivation points to an unknown person called Cadwal to which was attached the territorial suffix -i. Linguistically, Cadwal-i became Cedweli, rendered later as Cydweli which was subsequently anglicized as Kidwelly. Other examples of the territorial suffix -i can be found in Kerri (Powys) from Câr + -i, Llewenni (Denbighshire) from Llawen + -i, and Arwystli (Powys) from Arwystl + -.i
Cadwali was originally the name of the commote and transferred to the borough when the latter was established c.1115.
With thanks to Professor Hywel Wyn Owen, of the Welsh Place-Name Society