am grateful to various Society members and others who have donated
words or expressions to me. This report
contains entries from Mousehole to Cawsand, so
perhaps come my next report, we can go a little further
down west and a little
more up towards the borders with England.
Pezzack has given me a most comprehensive printed list of
Unfortunately I have forgotten the name of the compiler.
bone is used between the bars of bird cages is called `Shegeen'
(R. M Nance omits the `n' and spells it as 'Shegee'. BS_) `Murfles' are
referred to as an odd
- shapeless item,
(in fact, R. M. Nance gives it four other descriptions for
nautical uses. BS.)
Stevenson has passed on to me a few papers of interest, and
amongst the dialect therein are:
cluck' -- gone
one I noticed most appropriate from the article in the .Spring
2008 Old Cornwall Journal, "A
Nineteenth Century Conjuror's Archive from North Tamerton by Jason
Semmens", `She's conjuring' - working
Roberts, Dialect Recorder for Madron OCS, provided a number of words, one is:-
the discretion of a person dressed
like a tramp. (Many years ago I worked with a labourer
Who said to a fellow workmate, "The'art
dressed like a ditty-guy"
which, he informed me, referred to Irish men
who worked on road works and
were dressed summer and winter in rubber boots, overcoats and trilby hats.
of Madron OCS, Audrey Thomas sent a list of her dialect
Great bunt ,laane, don' want nobody weth 'er and don' want to he left
like a rusticock' - is
person with a
presumably a person was asked with regards to his health the reply
was:-'I eats well and I sleeps well, but when it comes to
work I shivers all over'.
Redruth contributed 'Hildahoop' for the
riddle:- 'No bottom
or top, holds gallons of water and never leaks a drop'- referring
brandis, a three legged stand placed over afire to support
a container of water.
certain man who was praised for fathering two pretty daughters
`The uglier the ram the prettier the lamb'.
man who was told to make
more haste in
his work in the Camborne - Redruth area would reply `The Bassetts
are dead old pal' meaning that the days when the Bassets of
Tehidy, who owned both property and workforce, were no more.
St. Columb OCS, forwarded to
me a page or two from a most interesting 1898 publication entitled:-
Cornish in Southwest Wisconsin'. That
particular USA state had a large Cornish population connected with
the mining, and it was said that for other nationalities it was
nigh impossible to understand two Cornishmen talking. Dialect went
with them and continued in their communications. A list of words
and sayings is contained in these writings. A sample is:
cla 'naw tin' - a wise man
who could discern the difference in tin and iron ores,
'naw prils from 'elvins' - prils -good
- deads or waste. Then
there is the interpretation of the saying, `cream 'pon
I quote: "As
cream is the height of luxury in Cornwall, while pilchards are
common food-----the expression means luxury
heaped upon commonplace. If an ordinary man affects too much,
dresses above his means, lives too high, or is vain, he is likened
to `cream 'pon
Some dialect was passed on to me whilst with members of the Chacewater
OCS a few months ago. Father Jim Vincent mentioned a Camborne
saying, `Gabby Lark' for a talkative
John Chesterfield brought to my attention three from Cawsand in
up job, ('clobed'
- dialect for cadged' most probably. BS) `.
quite as many,
regards to the latter, I was brought up saying the word as 'scrowen
This illustrating how certain words sound different by the time
they reach the foot of Cornwall. BS.)
keep dialect, likes and anything Cornish, coming along to provide
me with another report soon.