Trying to get through a conversation with a local in Cornwall can be a little confusing if you don’t know your ‘maids’ from your ‘shags’ and your ‘wassons’ from your ‘geddons.’
With so many quirky, unofficial words and phrases, we’ve picked out our favourite and most commonly used terms – so you’ll be speaking fluent Cornish in no time!
1. Alright ar’ee?
A greeting meaning, ‘how are you today?’ which is always replied to in Cornwall with a ‘yeah, you?’
“Alright ar’ee?” “Yeah, you?”
An unspecified length of time or later. It basically means that something will be happening in the not too distant future but us Cornish are known for our laid-back way of life, so you might be waiting a while…
“See you later?” “Yeah, I’ll be there dreckly!”
3. Yeghes da!
Perfect for when you lift a pint of Rattler at the Bowgie, yeghes da (pronounced ‘yecki-da’) is ‘cheers’ in Cornish!
This one has three meanings in the Duchy. You can either use it as a way of greeting a mate, to describe something amazing or as a way of saying ‘goodbye’ at the end of a conversation.
“The surf was pumping at Crantock today.” “Ah yeah, geddon!”
Widely used to start a conversation, but can also be used to get someone’s attention.
“Ere Ross, it’s your round!”
Yet another Cornish way of saying hello. Simple, fun and to the point!
A very popular term of endearment that the locals use to describe anything and everything they enjoy.
“That pint was ‘ansom!”
The highest level of praise you could give a lady in Cornwall.
“She’s some maid, mind.”
Same as above but for men.
You can use this phrase to either show sympathy towards or express appreciation for something, translating to English as “dear of him” or “dear of her.”
“Did you hear poor Karen dropped her pint on the way back from the bar?” “Yes, dearovher!”
“Did you hear that Tim took Sally for dinner at The Bowgie the other night?” “No, dearovhim!”
11. Ruffazrats, ar’ee?
Hungover, are you?
“He had one pint too many last night, he’s ruffazrats!”
12. Proper job
Another term that’s got more than one meaning. Typically, it’s the Cornish way of saying something is the best thing ever but it can also be used at the end of a conversation to say “goodbye.”
Generally used as way of agreeing with a fellow Cornishman, translating to ‘isn’t it.’
“This pasty’s ‘ansome.” “Innum!”
“Helluva swell coming in…”
A naughty child.
“What a little heller!”
Quite simply, the Cornish word for ‘Cornwall.’ This is how all the locals refer to this beautiful part of the world we call home.
What phrases would you add to the list?