Would you know what we mean if we said it’s time for our ‘crib’? Or maybe if we said that it’s ‘henting’ today? No? Well you obviously don’t speak Cornish!
Cornwall is one of the six Celtic territories and our language is one of the Brythonic group of languages to which the Welsh language also belongs.
Cornish place names can be very interesting and if you look at a map of Cornwall, you’ll see lots of similar names. ‘Pen’ for example appears at the beginning of many Cornish towns or village names. It means headland or the end of something… there’s Pendennis, Penryn, Penrose, Pentire and Penzance, to name just a few.
To get a better understanding of where you are in the county here’s a few of our favourite prefixes and places to visit in Kernow (Cornwall):
|TRE||means a homestead.
Trebetherick, Trelissick, Trematon Castle and many more Cornish places (this is the most used name)!
|PERRAN||derives from St Piran, the patron saint of tin miners and widely regarded as the national saint of Cornwall Perranporth, Perranarworthal, Perranzabuloe and Perranuthnoe.|
|POL||means a pool. Polzeath, Polruan, Polkerris and Polperro.|
|PORTH||meaning a bay, port or harbour. Perranporth, Porthtowan, Porthleven, Porth and Porthgwidden Beach|
|ROS||means moor, heath or common Roseland, Roskear and Rosenannon Downs|
The last known person to speak Cornish was Dolly Pentreath, of Paul near Moushole. She claimed to not have learnt English until she was in her 20s! She died in 1777, an according to legend, her last words were “Me ne vidn cewsel Sawznek!” – “I don’t want to speak English!” There is a monument dedicated to Dolly at Paul Church. Her death is often referred to as marking the death of Cornish as a community language but here in Kernow, we think it’s still very much alive!
By the way, ‘Crib’ is a mid-morning break for a snack and ‘Henting’ means it’s raining hard!