Can Anyone Please Help with an English Translation of the Welsh Word “Dime”?

Someone sent us a Welsh song called “Heno, heno”. We received the song in Welsh, without an English translation. The lyrics to the song in Welsh are…

Heno, heno, hen blant bach,
Heno, heno, hen blant bach,
Dime, dime, dime, hen blant bach,
Dime, dime, dime, hen blant bach.

Gwely, gwely, hen blant bach,
Gwely, gwely, hen blant bach,
Dime, dime, dime, hen blant bach,
Dime, dime, dime, hen blant bach.

Fory, fory, hen blant bach,
Fory, fory, hen blant bach,
Dime, dime, dime, hen blant bach,
Dime, dime, dime, hen blant bach.

Here’s the English translation we have so far, with a question mark standing in for the part we couldn’t translate…

Tonight, tonight, dear children,
Tonight, tonight, dear children,
? dear children,
? dear children.

Bed, bed, dear children,
Bed, bed, dear children,
? dear children,
? dear children.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, dear children,
Tomorrow, tomorrow, dear children,
? dear children,
? dear children.

We know that “heno” is “tonight”, “gwely” is “bed”, and “fory” is tomorrow. So the question is, what does “dime” mean? We couldn’t find it in online Welsh dictionaries.

If anyone can help with a translation, please comment below or email me.

Thanks!

Lisa

UPDATE: Thank you everyone for helping! We’ve gotten many answers in the comments below.

Here’s the answer, as told by Gwilym Evans, “Dime is the spoken word for dimau which is a half-penny.”

This article was posted on Friday, December 1st, 2006 at 2:42 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Languages, Questions, Wales, Welsh, Welsh Children's Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 Responses to “Can Anyone Please Help with an English Translation of the Welsh Word “Dime”?”

  1. Florian Says:

    Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog :-)
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day :)

  2. Donna Says:

    Hi there! I found the meaning for Dime Dime Dime. When I asked my colleague what this part meant, he sucked his thumb and said “However you would describe that”….useful….

    I would take that to mean ‘to pacify’.
    Just thought I’d let you know since it had been bugging me for a while too..

    Cool site!!

  3. Anthony Gibson Says:

    Came across your blog whilst searching for coffer bach. My wife is Weslh and she remembers this song which is a very old nursery rhyme and dime (dimai) means halfpenny.

  4. Anthony Gibson Says:

    Hen could also mean ‘tired’.

  5. Sarah Says:

    There is no actual word ‘dime’. It could have just been spelt this way as it has no literal meaning if you look it up in any dictionary. Plus it could be either a North or South Walean interpretation.

    I believe it can be taken to mean ‘Precious’ as the nearest translation.
    I can explain it like this:

    ‘Dimai’ means ‘half penny’ which is money so….

    ‘Pres’ meaning ‘money’ ….money can be deemed as precious as in valuable…..

    So then the Welsh word for Precious being ‘Gwerthfawr’

    and ‘Gwerthfawr’ in turn meaning ‘valuable’

    So the word ‘Dime’, even though there is no such word in the Welsh dictionary roughly translates (so to speak) in this sense as Precious!

    Precious, Precious, Precious dear children.

    Hope this helps.

    ***Plus does anyone know the Welsh song that children used to learn the names of the railway stations by?

    I cannot for the life of me remember the song and I would be so greatful if someone else knows what it is!!***

  6. Sarah Says:

    **Sorry it was the names of the Ports not Railway Stations**

  7. Claire Says:

    I remember this song having another verse, ddysgu ddysgu hen blant bach, etc…not sure if anyone else remembers this too??

    Ddysgu, meaning sleep.

    I can also remember one we sang for Cerdd Dant which started O dduw a rhoddaist gynt…not sure if anyone can help me find this anywhere??

  8. nic Says:

    Heno, Heno
    Gwely, gwely, hen blant bach,
    Gwely, gwely, hen blant bach,
    Dime, dime, dime, hen blant bach,
    Dime, dime, dume, hen blant bach.
    Fory, fory, hen blant bach,
    Fory, fory, hen blant bach.

    literally means

    Tonight, Tonight
    Tonight, tonight, little children
    Tonight, tonight little children.
    Bed, bed, little children,
    Bed, bed, little children.
    Tomorrow, tomorrow, little children
    Tomorrow, tomorrow, little children.

  9. Gwilym Says:

    Dime is the spoken word for dimau which is a half-penny. The spoken language in Welsh can vary significantly from the literary Welsh, and the former in turn can vary in different parts of Wales.

  10. Ally Says:

    I am heading home to my mothers for the weekend will ask her as she used to sing this to us when we were little

    I know we used to sing its bed time its bedtime little children

    and all the precious children in their beds

    but cannot for the life of me remember all the words

    will update when I see her

  11. Mair Says:

    I agree with Gwilym, dime was a coin of money

  12. sel Says:

    claire….”ddysgu”does nit mean sleep. “ddysgu”is a mutation of “Dysgu” which means learn

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