Cornish Dialect Words


adapted from the papers of my late Grandfather

William Frederick IVEY



It has been done before. It is not pretended that this dictionary is original or unique.

Also, it is not the work of a single individual – several persons have contributed an odd word here and there. Some of the quaint sayings have lost a lot of their meanings to many of the new residents from “Up – along” and localities differ also in the meaning of words and sentences.

The list is not intended to convey that it is complete. The odd word keeps constantly cropping up.

Neither is it intended to be a glossary of the ancient Cornish language, although there are some words in use from that source. It is, however, an attempt to record, as far as the limits of pronounciation will permit – a dialect used in former times in the more remote and isolated areas of S.W. Cornwall, as spoken and understood by the older inhabitants..

This work is an attempt to record some of our’ fast disappearing expressions.

It was the author’s intention to include a few selected pages of some of the more familiar words and expressions still in use in another work, but at the original Publishers suggestion is was decided to produce in handy form, a record of what was once commonplace words in a commonplace country area.

It is hoped that you will enjoy the contents and derive much pleasure in working out the meaning of some of the lesser known, whilst to others, no doubt, there will be no problem at all.

W. Frederick Ivey.