by Paul O'Leary
This is the twenty-third contribution to our Welsh Keywords series – inspired by Raymond Williams’ Keywords – which offers contemporary perspectives on contested meanings of words in Welsh and how these shifting meanings continue to shape our society.
Crachach is a pejorative word. It is not a term to embrace, or a badge to wear with pride – except, perhaps, ironically. It’s always about ‘them’, never ‘us’. It is difficult to imagine somebody asserting defiantly: ‘I am that name.’ So who are they? Who are (the) crachach? This is where it gets ‘difficult’, to use Raymond Williams’s favoured description of complex keywords.