Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

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Cornish Dialect

Dear Members,


There is now a minimum of 4,592 dialect words on line.  


I am not recording this to seek praise but more to pay tribute to my predecessor Brian Stevens, George Pritchard and no doubt others who put so much energy, commitment and enthusiasm into the founding of this project.  It has been an honour for me to continue their good work.


However there are still a small number of words marked ?? which indicates that we do not have an explanation or some other lack of information.  I ask members to take a look through the Dialect Section and see if they can assist.  They can report back to me on paul.downside@gmail.com or Downside, Casterills Road, Helston, TR13 8BJ.  Thanks


Please go to the dialect pages of the website and where you can add to the existing meaning of a word or an alternative one please let me have the details. My personal details are below.


There are still one or two entries with ?? (question marks) in them, this signifies that either the definition or context is missing or that it doesn’t seem to make sense to the researcher.  Here again if you can help I would be most grateful.


There is still a wealth of dialect words out there especially allied to the trades of farming, mining and fishing; you may know a few yourself or know someone you could ask, please let me have details.  Finally, I am sure you realise that this work will probably never end so please treat it as Work in Progress by coming back to me as often as you like.


Yours,  Paul Phillips (Dialect Recorder)


Paul Phillips Downside, Casterills Road, Helston, Cornwall. TR13 8BJ

Email: paul.downside@gmail.com Tel: 01326 573317

Cornish Dialect Words

Click on a letter and the link to a pdf file will appear at the bottom of your screen

Dialect Alphabet Sayings (Revd 3rd Jan 14) Dialect On-line Books English Dialect Dictionary On-line

To All Members of Old Cornwall Societies,

Dear friends,

I have not received any dialect contributions from any of you for many months, so have now reverted to sifting through a few short Glossaries that I have acquired over the years, so please ask around amongst friends and families to see what you can glean and send them on to me.  (paul.downside@gmail.com) or post to Downside, Casterills Road, Helston, TR13 8BJ.

Even if it is only one word or phrase it is important that it gets documented before it is lost forever.

I have one other request for you:

There are just a few words marked ?? this is because we have not yet established a meaning for them, I have also now marked them in RED to save you a lot of ‘trawling’, so I am asking that you help this important project by spending at least one wet afternoon to go through the alphabetical list on the website to see if you can help fill any of the gaps.  It makes me feel disappointed that I can’t complete the picture as it were, so any assistance will be most welcome.  

At the time of writing I am not quite ready to present the latest ‘Sayings’ pages in this way.

I thank you in anticipation for help that I have no doubt will be received.


Paul (Dialect Recorder) 01326 573317, but Email is better for me.

Dialect Poems

Carn Brea Cathedral Johnny Fortnight Ole Blood The Fox The Taaty Paasty

Dialect Stories

Father Put an Ad in the Paper Mother and Boy Willie Go Shopping The Cooker The Washing Machine Glossary of Cornish Mining Terms Youth by Val Lutey Herbie Lean by David Oates


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Up along Padstow Way with Betsey