breglell - although at first sight the resemblance to the verb bregllach
(jabber) is arresting, this adjective is more likely derived from,
or related to, the adjective breg (fragile, faulty.) This may in fact take
the place of mimsy in the English, here applied to the toves not
the borogoves, which are not in themselves qualified or described except as
gribing with the mome-raths.
dau - two. Uniquely in this Welsh version of the poem we are told that
there are two toves
briddim - seemingly derived from the adjective brith (speckled, mottled,)
it probably means lightly speckled
dwfau - clearly the plural form of the elsewhere unattested dwf. This is
probably related to the adjective dwfn (deep, profound,) and
corresponds very well to the Quenya original. Indeed the similarity between
the Quenya root [TUB - deep] and dwfn is a surprising coincidence,
if indeed it is only a coincidence. This, and some other similar
common roots may point to an independent connection between the early Welsh
and the Quenya-speaking Eldalie at some remote point in history.
gaumbiddo - clearly the present participle of a verb in a slightly
archaic form. In modern Welsh gaumbiddio would be the expected
form. The derivation and meaning are unclear, but may be related to the
adjective gau (false, hollow)
gyro - again the present participle of the verb - in this case gyrru
(drive, send, work, forge). The exact shade of meaning in this case is
unclear, but it clearly implies some sort of work or toil.
wyndab - a noun, seemingly being a variant of wyneb (face, front), and may
apply to an area of ground facing a sundial, at least this would
tie in with Dodgson's explanation (though his derivation that it "goes a
long way before it, a long way behind it and a long way beside it"
is of course mere fancy.)
boregobau - this may be a combination of bore (early) and an element
related to gobaith (hope) "Early-hopers" perhaps, though as this is
nowhere else attested in any contemporary Welsh we cannot be absolutely sure.
momatau - Clearly the plural form of a noun momat. Presumably this is a
borrowing from the old-english, as no etymological basis can be
identified in Welsh.
ymgrabo - the reflexive or reciprocal prefix ym- is easily identified, but
the verb (in the present participle,) appears to be another
borrowing from the old english
Unusually for verses of this antiquity, these englyns are of the 4-line
variety and rhymed a-b-a-b. Until the 12th or 13th Centuries, the 3-line
englyn was more commonly employed, with a single line-end rhyme. But the
internal rhymes (gau-dau-fau + idd-ddim-bidd,) between the last half of the
first line and the first half of the second verse are neatly and
Copyright Peter H. Cole 2001