Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Celtic  Index  Previous  Next 

Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall, Vol. 2, by William Bottrell, [1873], at

p. 290 p. 291


A or AH, he or it, e.g. a es, it is.

AFTER-WINDING, waste corn.

AN’, aunt, an expression of regard applied to aged women.

ARREAR; (Maria P) an exclamation of angry surprise.

ARISH, stubble.

BAL, a mine.

BANNAL, broom plant.

BOWJEY, sheepfold, &c., on cliff or downs.

BRAVE, much, very well, &c.

BRUYANS, crumbs.

BUCCA, a spirit.

BUCCA-BOO (-DHU) a black spirit.

BULHORN, a large shell-snail.

BUSSA, an earthen crock.

BUSY (to be), to require; e.g. it is BUSY all, it requires all.

CAUNSE, pavement.

CATER, a coarse sieve for winnowing.

CHEE-AH! word used for calling swine.

CHEELD-VEAN (little child), a term of endearment.

CHILL, an iron lamp.

CLIFF, all the ground between the shore and cultivated land. The cliff proper, or precipice, is called the edge of the cliff; the cleaves, or the carns.

CLUNK, to swallow.

COSTAN, a basket made of straw and brambles.

COURANT, romping play.

COURSEY, to linger gossiping.

COWAL, a large fish-basket.

CRAVEL, mantel-stone.

CRELLAS, the ruins of ancient beehive huts; an excavation in a bank, roofed over to serve for an outhouse, &c.

CROGGAN, a limpet shell.

CRONACK, a toad.

CROUD, the rind of a sieve covered a with sheepskin, used for taking up corn, &c.; also an old fiddle.

CRUM, crooked.

CROUST, afternoons’ refreshment of bread and beer in harvest time.

CROW, a small outhouse.

DIDJAN, a little bit.

DIJBY, a very small homestead.

DOWER, water.

DRUCHSHAR, a small solid wheel.

DUFFAN, a nickname for one much given to self laudation; usually bestowed on a bouncing religionist who is powerful in speech, and strong in faith, but no better than ordinary mortals in works.

DUFFY, a forthright, blunt happy-go-lucky person.

DUMBLEDORE, large black-beetle.

’E, ye or you.

FAIX! faith.

FLUSHET, a flood-gate,

FUGGAN, a small unleavened cake.

FUGGO, an artificial cave.

GADGE-VRAWS, the ox-eye daisy.

GARD, soil used for scouring.

GARRACK, a rook.

GLOWS, dried cow-dung- used for fuel.

GRAMBLER, a stony place.

GRIGLANS, heath.

GRUIT, fine soil.

GUARE, play, called out by boys when they throw quoits cast a ball, &c.

GUISE-DANCE, Christmas mummery.

GULTHISE (in Scilly niclethies), harvest-home feast.

GURGOES, the ruins of ancient fences found on waste land.

GWEBAN, a periwinkle.

HILLA, the nightmare.

HOGGAN, a "fuggan" with meat baked on it; the fruit of hawthorns.

KEGGAS, rank wild plants, such as water-hemlock, elecampane, &c.

KIBBAL, a bucket used at a draw-well or mine shaft.

KISKEYS, the dried-up stalks of "keggas."

KNACKERS (knockers), spirits in the mines.

KEUNEY, moss, lichen, &c.

LAMER, the yellow water-iris.

LEW, sheltered from wind.

LEWTH, shelter.

p. 292

MABYER, a young hen.

MIRYON, an ant.

MOAR, the root; produce roots.

MOOR-WORK, tin-streaming.

MORABS, land near the sea.

NACKAN, a kerchief.

OAR-WEED, sea-weed.

ORGAN, pennyroyal.

PADZEPAW, a newt.

PAR, cove; the word porth is never used by the natives of West Cornwall, nor does it aver occur in family names.

PEETH, a draw-well.

PIGGAL, a kind of large hoe used for cutting turf; &c.

PILF, woolly dust.

PILJACK, a poor scurvy fellow.

PISKEY, a mischievous fairy that delights to lead people astray; also a greenish bug, found on blackberries.

PITCH-TO, to set to work with good heart.

PLUM, soft, light.

PORVAN, a rush lamp wick.

PRUIT! a word used for calling cows.

PUL, mire, mud.

PULAN, a small pool, such as is left by ebb tide.

PUL-CRONACK, a small toad-like fish, found in "pulans."

QUALK, a heavy fall,

QUILKAN, a frog.

QUILLET, a small field.

REEN, a steep hill side.

ROSE, low lying level ground, moor- land, &c.

RULLS, rolls of carded wool.

SEW (gone to), dried up.

SKAW, the elder tree.

SKAW-DOWER, fig wort.


SMALL-PEOPLE, fairies.

SOAS, lose, forsooth.

SPANISH DUMBLEDORE, the cock-chaffer.

SPRIGGAN, sprite, fairy.

SPROWL, life, energy.

STROATH, more haste than good speed.

STROLL, an untidy mess.

TALFAT, a boarded floor, for a bed-place. over one end of a cottage.

THRESHAL, a flail.

TOWSAR, a large apron or wrapper.

TURBAN, a clod of earth.

TUBBLE, a mattock.

TUMMALS, quantity.

TINGTAVUS, a tattling fool.

TUNTRY, the pole by which oxen draw a wain, cart, &c.

TURN, a spinning wheel.

UNCLE, a term off regard given to an old man.

VEAN, little.

VINED, mouldy.

VISGEY, a pick-axe.

VISNAN, the sand launce.

VOW, a cavern or "fuggo."

VUG, a cavity in a lode or rock.

WIDDEN, small.

WIDDENS, small fields.

WISST, sad, like a person or thing illwisht.

ZAWN, (pro SOWN) a cavern in a cliff.

A short time ago, two gentlemen of Penzance walked over to Chysauster, the higher side of Gulval, on a Sunday morning, to inspect the hut-circles, caves, and other remains of what are supposed to have been ancient British habitations. After a fruitless search, the gentlemen returned towards Chysauster to see if they could meet with anyone to inform them where the objects they were in quest of might be found. In the lane they overtook a woman and asked her if she knew of any caves thereabout? "Caaves! no, I don't—not fit for butchers," she replied, "but if you want any for rearan I think I can tell ’e where there es some to be found; now I look at ’e agen you don't seem much like butchers nether, nor you arn’t none of our farmers about here ether! Where are ’e coman from at all? Looking for caaves of a Sunday mornan! You are very much in want of them I s’pose." The gentlemen explained that they neither wanted calves for rearing nor killing, but to find the ancient ruins. "Oh Lord," said she, "you're lookan for the old crellas, and things up in the hill! Why dedn't ’e say so than, that one might know what you meant, instead of givan such outlandish names to things. But come ’e along with me, and I'll show ’e," continued she in turning back and leading the way.

Next: Index