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Author Topic: Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan  (Read 1432 times)

BrokenMnemonic

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Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan
« on: 05 July 2013, 04:35:39 »
The topic of Daffyd Ap Brendan, the local Baron on Gwynedd who had the leaders of the 4th Amaris Legionnaires knocked off and replaced with people loyal to him during the Rim Worlds Republic civil war (p. 135-146) came up in a conversation with friends recently. It's left me with a few questions...

Apparently the Welsh first name Daffyd doesn't exist - there is a Dafydd, but Dafydd is apparently very unlikely to drift linguistically across to Daffyd because the Welsh alphabet makes Daffyd and Dafydd sound completely different. Is the use of Daffyd in H:RW possibly a typo?

It was also commented on that Ap Brendan is a very odd surname, because it means "son of Brendan", and Brendan isn't a Welsh name, but using the "Ap" convention is an unusual choice even today, and Ap Brendan is apparently the equivalent of "de Johnson" - it sounds rather weird. Given that Brendan is an Irish name but Dafydd is a Welsh name, is the use of the two meant to indicate that Gwynedd was a melange of Welsh/Irish descendants or enthusiasts, despite the Welsh name of the planet?

It's more interesting than optimal, and therefore better. O0 - Weirdo

HABeas2

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Re: Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan
« Reply #1 on: 05 July 2013, 04:39:23 »
Hi,

Not only that but, given the spelling issues you raised, one that suffered a few centuries of lingual/cultural drift. (This is how you tend to see things in BattleTech that claim a certain cultural lineage, but got some details "wrong".)

Thanks,

- Herb

BrokenMnemonic

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Re: Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan
« Reply #2 on: 05 July 2013, 05:10:35 »
Apparently, Dafydd sounds like David (day-vid) whereas Daffyd sounds like Dafith (da-fifth), but the spelling mistake when written is extremely common among English speakers, which adds credence to the idea that Gwynedd was settled by enthusiasts without access to any actual Welsh speakers. It's the Victorians and their druids all over again...

It's more interesting than optimal, and therefore better. O0 - Weirdo

HABeas2

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Re: Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan
« Reply #3 on: 05 July 2013, 05:59:20 »
Hi,

Sure. Let's go with that.

Thanks,

- Herb

BrokenMnemonic

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Re: Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan
« Reply #4 on: 05 July 2013, 06:34:16 »
Thank you for the responses and clarification :) I'm a little disappointed that Gwynedd is less Welsh than I'd originally hoped, but on the other hand, I now feel like I've participated in a tiny way to the BattleTech universe.

It's more interesting than optimal, and therefore better. O0 - Weirdo

Chris Hartford

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Re: Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan
« Reply #5 on: 05 July 2013, 09:10:37 »
Apparently the Welsh first name Daffyd doesn't exist - there is a Dafydd, but Dafydd is apparently very unlikely to drift linguistically across to Daffyd because the Welsh alphabet makes Daffyd and Dafydd sound completely different. Is the use of Daffyd in H:RW possibly a typo?

Dafydd is the normal and most commonly seen version (as in Dafydd ap Llywelyn in the 13th Centurey or Dafydd James in Rugby) but Daffyd also exists, in real life but also more famously in fiction (e.g. Daffyd Thomas - the only one in the village)

Quote
It was also commented on that Ap Brendan is a very odd surname, because it means "son of Brendan", and Brendan isn't a Welsh name, but using the "Ap" convention is an unusual choice even today, and Ap Brendan is apparently the equivalent of "de Johnson" - it sounds rather weird. Given that Brendan is an Irish name but Dafydd is a Welsh name, is the use of the two meant to indicate that Gwynedd was a melange of Welsh/Irish descendants or enthusiasts, despite the Welsh name of the planet?

Indeed, ap xxx is rather archaic and is similar to the  xxx-son in scandinavia,  or ibn xxx in arabic, stating a family line by naming a parent (of course, Arabic has the opposite to in abu - father of). It's a bit different to "de xxx" or "von xxx" in German as both are more more "of xxx" (relating to a place or family rather than a specific relative).

Brendan we can argue over  ;) Yes, it's of Irish origin, but there are people in Wales with that name so it's not impossible for it to exist on a "welsh" world. And don't get me started on variant forms of Irish names  :P

My thought is pretty much as Herb says - a few centuries of linguistic/cultural drift (and some typos on birth records) and a general mixing of cultures mean modern rules don't necessarily apply, not to mention that while the world and it's leader have Welsh names (quite possibly effected - who knows if he's using that form of name to appease a 26th century version of Meibion Glyndwr). Or, as you say, it could be the 26th century attempt to create a "welsh" culture, in the end just as authentic as the Franco-British trappings of New Avalon.

In the end, its fun to speculate as to why details of the setting are they way they are.
« Last Edit: 05 July 2013, 09:12:50 by Chris Hartford »
Chris Hartford

BrokenMnemonic

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Re: Historical: Reunification War - Daffyd Ap Brendan
« Reply #6 on: 05 July 2013, 13:54:57 »
I was under the impression that Daffyd Thomas was a caricature character with a deliberately misspelt name - I've not watched Little Britain, but I remember there being some complaints about the name, and the BBC has a little bit of commentary on it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/3737126.stm. The name was commented on as being misspelt when Little Britain won a BAFTA, too: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Welsh+stardom+shines+at+Baftas.-a0131596173

I did a little digging and it looks like there are some people named Daffyd, but not many... According to a search engine on the Daily Telegraph website powered by data from the Office of National Statistics, between 1996 and 2010 there were 8 children born named Daffyd, 5 in 2003 and 3 in 2007, compared to 1,093 Dafydd's born in the same period.

If Daffyd is an intentional choice and not an error, then it definitely looks like a case of someone trying to create a mock-Welsh culture - or maybe mock-Celt? - which is a bit of a shame, as there aren't many Welsh characters in BT canon, making them a bit of a poor cousin to the Scots and Irish characters...

It's more interesting than optimal, and therefore better. O0 - Weirdo

 

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