Some 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. You will get it, sometime in the unspecified future.
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.
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 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.
You may be called this whether man, maid or beer but is usually reserved for friends and family.
Translation: My handsome.
Geddon me bewty!
This is frequently used as an affectionate way to greet a friend, ‘geddon’ more or less just means hello, and ‘bewty’ (pronounced boo-dee) is another word for friend/mate. ‘Bewty’ can also be substituted with ‘ansum,’ (see above).
Translation: Hello, friend
Where you to?
You may be asked this in passing and from Cornwall, if you’re a visitor, then the answer is always ‘up north.’
Pronounced ‘yecki-da’ – Perfect for when you lift a pint/glass of something cold!