Learning the Lingo - Cornish Phrases You Need To Know

Here’s your free crash course in talking like a Local.  The further down the county you go, the stronger the accent gets, from a light westerly lilt in Launceston, to a deep husky pirate in Porthcurno.

If you don’t live in Cornwall, or even the South-West, please feel free to practice these phrases at work during really boring meetings.

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“Dreckly” – My personal favourite,this one.  Throw out the clock and any official schedules.  It means the task will get done, just not necessarily using any officially recognised time.  The Cornish don’t have the urgency of those who dwell “Up North,” which is anywhere over the River Tamar.

“Aright, my ‘ansum?” – Like the French, the Cornish have male and female phrases, this one, aimed at males, means “How are you?” (Can be used to greet strangers or friends alike) “Alright, my bird?” is the female equivalent

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“Giss on!” – Are you pulling my leg?

“Wozelike?!” – Always up to something that little scamp.

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“Dearovim!” – Oh, pour soul. He never has much luck.

“Thasit me lover, geddon me cock!” – Sounds a lot worse than it is.  Actually means “We’ve cracked it, fantastic effort.”

“Ibeleebn” – Time for me to leave, gotta get home to my wife.  “Ellydoinov?” – The wife of the man who didn’t leave to get home.

“I’m rufazrats” – I’m not feeling my best.  Often said the morning after a night on the Scrumpy, with no sympathy from the wife above.

“‘She’s teasy as’n’adder” – Keep your distance, she’s not in a good mood.  Probably because he’s rufazrats

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“Wats splann?” – So what are we going to do today then?

“Piddledowndidda?” – Was the rain torrential yesterday?

“Pizendawn” – It’s raining quite heavily.

“Bluddy ‘ansum that is” – This pasty is really hitting the spot.

“Pastydiddy?” – Did you pass him on your travels?

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“Diddyabm?” – Did you follow through with the purchase?

“Proper job!” – Absolutely fantastic.

“Ya gate bleddy tuss!” – Don’t be so stupid you absolute fool.

“Likun diddy?” – Did you like it?

“Fariza?” – How far will you be travelling on your planned voyage?

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“Leave it abroad” – Don’t shut the door.

“Killundiddy?” – Did you kill the person who knocked your pint over?

“That was a fair old stank” – That walk was a considerable distance.

“Zackly” – Agreed.

“I kent membr” – I can’t recall that I’m afraid.

“Gotunavee?” – Did you remember to purchase me a pasty?

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“I’llItellywot” – You’re not going to believe this.

“Diddynawn?” – Are you familiar with the man in question and what is he like?

“Pally widden, wazza?” – Was he a friend of yours?

“Owaree?” – How are you?

“Ellydoinov?” – What the heck were you thinking?

“Mygar, tizzardlee on!” – My god, the tourists can’t park their cars there.

“Ullon yaw!” – Just wait a minute.

“Cain telly” – I’m afraid I can’t share such details.

So now you know how to hold a conversation in Cornwall, though I’d recommend you practice in the safety of your own home before attempting it, or at least get a few pints of bravery in you first! 
Good luck!


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