[Spellyans] 'to work'

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 15:06:35 BST 2011

The default word for 'to work' in revived Cornish is obery. Obery is very rare and doesn't mean 'work'. 
These are the only examples of obery that I can find:

an re-ma yv oberys del vynsyn agan honan 'these have been wrought/created as we ourselves wished' OM 15-6 [God speaking of creation]
mar pue drok a oberys trogh y hy gans the glethe 'if it was wrong what I did, chop her [the serpent] with your sword' OM 291-92
gans mur ioy y tue the'n nef dre y thadder oberys 'with great joy he will come to heaven, created by his goodness' RD 1223-24
Orth ihesu rag kerense a qurelles opery kyns guereses ty a vye 'If you had acted for love of Christ before, you would have been helped' BM 2612-14.

Obery means 'to create, to do, to act' and is found only in the verbal noun and the verbal adjective.

The simplest way of saying 'work' is gul whel (cf. Irish caithfidh mé obair a dhéanamh 'I have to work' lit. 'I have to do work') e.g. wheyh dyth te wra whel 'six days shall you work' Keigwin. The same idiom lies behind mee a ved’n moze Da whelaz weale da weele 'I am going to look for work' JCH §2
Otherwise the word for 'to work' is lavurya:

rag sustene beunans thy'n rys yw porrys lafurrye 'to sustain life for us it is necessary to work' OM 683
pan vo ol thy'n lafurryys agan wheyl a vyt mothow 'when all this has been worked by us our labour will be in vain' OM 1225-26
Wose cous ha lafurye an vaner a vye da kemeres croust hag eve 'After talking and working it would be a good idea to take lunch and drink' OM 1899-900
squyth of dre ver lafurye 'I am tired through much working' OM 2049
lafurye a wra pup prys Rak dry den the vos dampnys 'he works always to bring man to damnation' PC 14-5
rays yw pur-ryes lavyrrya ha gones an beise omma tha gawas theny susten 'we have to work and cultivate the ground here to provide food for ourselves' CW 1079-81.

Lavurya also means 'go on foot, travel'.


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