top of page
  • Dawn Jones

5 Proper Cornish Terms You’ll Definitely Come Across When You Visit Kernow!

What’s on, my Ansom? (Foreshadowing…)

The thing that makes Cornwall such a special place is the unique local culture that is deeply embedded in our roots and society. It sets the county apart from anywhere else in the U. K, and the rest of the world, for that matter! The Cornish identity stands everywhere you look, from the food to the local architecture.

While you’ve certainly heard of a Cornish Pasty and clotted cream, one aspect you might be less familiar with is the local dialect. In today’s blog, you’re going to learn some common terms you can expect to hear when you visit Cornwall on holiday.

Let’s crack on!

About the local lingo

The Cornish dialect is a unique variation of the English language found in Cornwall. It has developed over time because of its isolation from other parts of the country and influences from the native Cornish language, which was spoken in the region before the 18th century. The dialect features distinct grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation that sets it apart from standard English!

Commonly Used Phrases and Vocabulary

1. "Dreckly" - Meaning "soon" or "eventually," this phrase is commonly used in Cornwall to describe a vague sense of time.

Pronunciation: DREK-lee.

2. "Ansom" - A term of endearment that means "lovely" or "pleasant." It is often used to describe people or things that are pleasing or attractive.

Pronunciation: AN-sum.

3. "Proper Job" - An expression of approval or satisfaction, typically used to describe something done well or correctly.

Pronunciation: PRO-per job.

4. "Wasson" - Used as a greeting, or to ask about the status of something.

Pronunciation: WOSS-on.

5. "Hangin’" - A term used to articulate negative feelings such as discomfort or misery, most commonly (but not exclusively) referring to the effects of a hangover.

Pronunciation: AN-gin.

Can you use it in a sentence?

"I'll do it dreckly."

Translation: "I'll do it soon."

"That pasty was ansom."

Translation: "That pasty was lovely."

"You've done a proper job with that."

Translation: "You've done a great job with that."

"Wasson my ansom?"

Translation: "How’s it going, pal?"

"The weather is absolutely hangin’."

Translation: "The weather is bloody awful."

Can we have a word?

So there you have it! A few proper Cornish phrases that’ll help you make yourselves at home when you come down during the holidays. You’ll soon fit right in if you add some of these to your vocabulary when you’re here!

If you’re curious about any other useful phrases or common language that we use, let us know! Leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Later on!


bottom of page