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Useful Cornish phrases

Have you ever spent a holiday in Cornwall, or perhaps you have friends who have? If yes, you’ve no doubt heard phrases like ‘it’s so beautiful down there ‘it’s a different pace’ ‘it’s a different world’.  All of which are common themes.  Cornwall is indeed a different world with it’s own language (Kernewek).  So, before you pack your bags and head down to the Cornish coast, be sure to swat up on some local phrases so you can mingle in well with the locals!

Dreckly. Translation: Directly. It’s how the Cornish do things, in their own time! It can sometimes be at a much slower pace then you are used to.  Just go with the flow – you are on holiday after all!

Ere ’tis. Translation: Here it is. A useful phrase indicating where something is.

Teddies. Translation: Potatoes. No not the fluffy cuddly kind.  If a local asks you about teddies down here, they are referring to the vegetable type – the humble potato! A mainstay of the Cornish pasty and grown across the county.

Proper job. Translation: A job well done. A term of praise that can be applied to all manner of things, including beer!  Feel humbled if you get this feedback! 

Right on. Translation: Okay or hello. Can be used in agreement, but also as a form of greeting. 

Pard. Translation: Friend. A term of endearment used for friends and colleagues, often used in conjunction with Right On!

Me ‘ansum. Translation: My handsome. Can be used when Pard feels too formal.

Maid. Translation: She, lady, female. The ladies of Cornwall are referred to as maid, in relation to particularly beautiful ladies you might hear ‘some maid’ being used.

My lover. Translation: my dear. An affectionate unisex greeting.

Wasson? Translation: What is happening What is going on, often used as a greeting in conjunction with ‘me 'ansum’ or ‘pard’.

Alrite are ee? Translation: Alright mate. An informal greeting

Yeah, you? Translation: Yes thank you and how are you? The formal response to the above 

Mizzle. Translation: wet weather. This describes typical Cornish winter weather a combination of mist and drizzle

Teazy.  Translation: tetchy. What visitors are when it’s been mizzling for days, irritable. Often used in the phrase ‘teazy as an adder’.

Now you’ve got the basics mastered, try them out when you come to stay and have an amazing holiday!

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