[Spellyans] "small" in Cornish

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Sep 2 12:13:27 IST 2011


Nance 1938 offers us:
>  bȳghan, bȳan (C.Voc. boghan)

On 2011 Gwn 2, at 08:44, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

> No, they don't settle questions, but they do provide valuable evidence that we can't afford to ignore.  I find 14th century examples of byghan (in West Penwith!), which is exactly the period Nance was looking at, the Ordinalia also originating in that century.  

Agreed. 

> I even have a 13th century bichan (the very same location).  Place-names provide the only evidence that the variant bygh/bigh was also in use - as far as I know, that word isn't in the texts but is in several place-names.


Interestingly, Welsh has the cognate doublet bychan / bach, both meaning 'small'. I wonder whether there are any attestations of *bigh/bygh in historical Cornish outwith toponyms?

Eddie Climo
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nicholas, please give it a rest, there's a good chap. Your 'inexplicable desire' to denigrate so many other Kernewegoryon, past and present, is a familiar dirge, but one we've all heard far too tediously often. As we say in Scots Gaelic, 
— Is searbh pìobair an aona phuirt. Wherow yu pyber-un-ton.
— An uair a bhìos an port a' fàs fada, bìdh e fàs searbh. Ton re hyr yu ton re wherow.

You only belittle yourself with such (to quote Tregear) bacbytya. Recall the advice he gives us in De charitate et amore Dei:

> …cowseugh da a’n re na neb a wra agas defamya ha’gas bacbytya ha cows drog ahanough why…


Note that, although Tregear offers us these 100% Macaronek Awthentek words bacbytya and defamya, he seems (inexplicably!) to have overlooked other goodies like *begrujjya, *whynjya, and even *badmowthya.
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