I heard this word for the first time in this news item when a little girl pronounced it rhyming with 'clutch'. After her Dad died a company made a cuddle bear or 'memory bear' out of Dad's clothes for her.

When she 'cwtches' the bear, she is reminded of the way her father hugged her.

The word comes from Welsh and cwtchclothing.co.uk explain on their website that a 'cwtch' is not just a cuddle or hug, there is a background context of protection from the big wide world and its daunting nature. The Welsh word, transliterated into English (for English has no exact equivalent) means more than the physical act. It denotes the protective nature of the person performing the act.

The OED merely says it it is a cuddle or hug and the OED states that the word rhymes with 'butch'. The OED describes the word as 'Welsh English'.

So the OED disagrees with the spoken example of the little girl on the news item.

Can anyone tell me how properly to pronounce it ?


Seaside Donkey's Welsh pronunciation guide suggests

Cwtch – coo (as in cook) + tsh

BBC Travel in an article entitled ‘Cwtch’: The hug invented by the Welsh say:

a ‘cwtch’ (pronounced ‘kutch’, to rhyme with ‘butch’) is the Welsh word for a cuddle or hug, but it’s also so much more than that.

'I love a cwtch': Luke Evans teaches us Welsh slang (00:51) and Beer Kit Review - Muntons & Tiny Rebel Cwtch (00:14) have it pronounced rhyming with "butch"

Other YouTube videos all seem to have it pronounced the same way

Forvo has three Welsh natives pronouncing it to rhyme with "butch"

Yummyblogger describes herself as Welsh, and says she pronounces it as:

‘coo’ (as if you were starting to say ‘cool’) and then ‘tch’ like the ‘tch’ in ‘itch’ or ‘witch’. That probably isn’t that helpful, so I found this link which has a really helpful button you can press to hear what ‘cwtch’ sounds like!

Needless to say, the link takes us to OED, so ...


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