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10 useful phrases when visiting Cornwall

family in bakery

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 winning 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)?


About the author

Posted by Christina

Christina manages the Travelsmith websites and social media and loves writing about all aspects of Cornwall. Contact her through the Breaks in Cornwall social media sites or email: