[Spellyans] Box

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Sat Oct 9 15:42:50 BST 2010

I can only imagine that they got it from Cornish speech.  Kistvaen,  
"stone box" would have been very much what you'd expect local farmers  
to describe an exposed cist in a barrow on their land.


On 9 Hed 2010, at 15:14, nicholas williams wrote:

> Where did the antiquarians get the word from?
> If they saw it written <kist> they would have pronounced it short.
> For it to have a long vowel it would have had to be written <keest>.
> On 2010 Hed 9, at 14:47, Craig Weatherhill wrote:
>> Kist was used by Cornish antiquarians to describe a stone box,  
>> usually about 6 feet by 3, or a bit smaller, with a capstone,  
>> usually contained within a Bronze Age barrow and containing a  
>> cremation burial (more rarely an inhumation, such as the example at  
>> Rillaton).  Copeland Borlase and others used the word kistvaen,  
>> sometimes shortened to kist/cist.  The word was adopted into  
>> general British archaeological use as "cist" (still a hard C).  I  
>> have never heard it pronounced without a short vowel (as I in "pin").
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Craig Weatherhill

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