- to cheat by failing to pay a gambling debt: You aren't going to welsh on me, are you?
- to go back on one's word: He welshed on his promise to help in the campaign.
Origin of welsh
- to fail to pay a gambling debt
- to fail to fulfil an obligation
- of, relating to, or characteristic of Wales, its people, their Celtic language, or their dialect of English
- a language of Wales, belonging to the S Celtic branch of the Indo-European family. Welsh shows considerable diversity between dialects
- the Welsh (functioning as plural) the natives or inhabitants of Wales collectively
- a white long-bodied lop-eared breed of pig, kept chiefly for bacon
Word Origin and History for welshed
Old English Wilisc, Wylisc (West Saxon), Welisc, Wælisc (Anglian and Kentish), from Wealh, Walh "Celt, Briton, Welshman, non-Germanic foreigner;" in Tolkien's definition, "common Gmc. name for a man of what we should call Celtic speech," but also applied to speakers of Latin, hence Old High German Walh, Walah "Celt, Roman, Gaulish," and Old Norse Valir "Gauls, Frenchmen" (Danish vælsk "Italian, French, southern"); from Proto-Germanic *Walkhiskaz, from a Celtic name represented by Latin Volcæ (Caesar) "ancient Celtic tribe in southern Gaul." The word survives in Wales, Cornwall, Walloon, walnut, and in surnames Walsh and Wallace. Borrowed in Old Church Slavonic as vlachu, and applied to the Rumanians, hence Wallachia.
Among the English, Welsh was used disparagingly of inferior or substitute things, hence Welsh rabbit (1725), also perverted by folk-etymology as Welsh rarebit (1785).