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10 useful phrases when visiting Cornwall

Be prepared for your holiday – learn the local lingo!

As with every county, Cornish locals have their own special words and phrases. For the devote Cornish, there’s even a revival of the old celtic language – Kernewek. However, there’s no need to worry that you’ll need a translator when on holiday! There may be a few words and phrases that might come in handy though….


You may visit a shop for a pasty and be told it will be with you dreckly. This is a little like ‘hasta mañana’ in Spanish. You will get it, sometime in the unspecified future.
Translation: Directly.

Yer ’tis

When you’re presented with your pasty it may be with a cheerful yer ’tis.
Translation: Here it is.


Hopefully your pasty will have a fair few chunks of teddies in it.
Translation: Potatoes.

Proper job

Hopefully when you receive your pasty it’ll be a proper job.
Translation: Job well done. Incidentally, now the name of an award-winning2 Cornish beer.

Right on

Right on is another appropriate response to a proper job.
Translation: Okay, be in agreement.


Generally he or it, for example when catching a large fish – Ee’s a boot. Variations include: Ark at ee, or Look at ee, Ee’s a boot.
Translation: He or it; Listen to him; Look at him; It’s/He’s impressive.


The opposite of ‘ee.’
Translation: She, lady, female.

Alrite me luvver

Usually reserved for friends or family you may hear this as an informal greeting.
Translation: Alright mate.

Me ‘ansum

You may be called this whether man, maid or beer but is usually reserved for friends and family.
Translation: My handsome.

Where you to?

You may be asked this in passing and from Cornwall, the answer is always ‘up north.’
Translation: Where are you (from)?