Clare's Cornish Pages

Here are some weird and wonderful phrases, and commonly used words which derive from Cornish

animated feather

Cornish Sayings

CornishRough English meaning
'teazy asn adder'a little bit moody!
'rough as rats' or 'rough as a bag of nails'of poor or uncouth upbringing
'drekly'later - but the sort of later that will probably never come!
'gibmere aminut' give it here a minute
'costymuch didda?' did it cost you much?
'gait gust' great gust (of wind)
'two skats behind' following up at the rear
'go like the mail'goes quickly - like the mail coach in the good old days
'matter do a?'
(said quickly and with 'a' pronounced phonetically)
does it matter?
'nawn diddy?' did you know him? (literally: know him did you?)
'tellundiddy?' did you tell him? (literally: tell him did you?)
'got feet like half-crown shovels'got big feet!
'face like a white-washed wall'pale
'so near as the grave'tight with money!
'woteedoinov?' what are you doing? (literally: what you doing of)
'aaveeseenun?' have you seen him?
'so daft as a carrot half-scraped'not very bright!
'gussenup angitten' go and get it (literally: get on up and get it)
'costy muchdidda?' did it cost you much? (literally: cost you much did it?)
'oweenawtha?' how do you know that?
'teeonisuh?' is the kettle on? (literally: tea on is it?)
'perdee inna?'pretty isn't it?

Dialect Words- words originating from Cornish

CornishHow its used now
Stankya - meaning to trampleStank - used meaning a hike or long walk
- meaning blow, or skwat - crushing blow, or skwatya - crush, hit or squash
- meaning to knock down ("I'll scat 'ee down" often heard in Cornish pubs after a few beers! - "I'll knock you down/ hit you down")
Heller - a wild natured personthis is the original word with the original meaning - a real nuisance, eg. that little Harry is a real heller
Teazy - derived from Tesek meaning hot tempered or irritablestill commonly used with the same meaning, eg. she's teazy asn adder
Geek - derived from Gyki meaning to take a quick glance atstill commonly used with the same meaning, eg. take a quick geek o' that

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Last updated: 16/05/05