[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Tue Jul 22 10:18:18 IST 2014


Thank you very much, Janice and Jon. 
I was completely mistaken. Mea maxima culpa.  Handereu and kendereu are attested as you say
in Pryce and Borlase. 
I was led astray by Nance 1938 who puts Lh[uyd] after canderu; he does not mention
either Pryce or Borlase. I should have checked but usually when Nance writes his source
he is correct.

The form kenderow is attested.
Since both Borlase and Pryce give 'cousin german' as the meaning
it is not unlikely that they have ultimately the same source.
We have no other evidence for the word. 
We do not know at what period it was in use.
The feminine form kenytherow is not apparently attested.

Cosyn is attested a number of times in the texts and has an attested plural.

Can I ask, what people think about the relative merits of kenderow and cosyn
as the ordinary word for 'cousin'?


On 22 Jul 2014, at 08:42, Janice Lobb <janicelobb at gmail.com> wrote:

> we should not ignore Pryce and Borlase
> On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 8:37 AM, Jon Mills <j.mills at email.com> wrote:
> "Kendereu, A. a Cousin-german" [Borlase "A Cornish-English Vocabulary"]
> "HANDERU, a cousin german" [Pryce 1790]
> Ol an gwella,
> Jon Mills
> Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM
> From: "Nicholas Williams" <njawilliams at gmail.com>
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Cc: "Agan Tavas discussion list" <agantavas at spyrys.org>
> Subject: [Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'
> The Cornish for ‘cousin’
> Nance for ‘cousin’ recommends kenderow m., pl. kendyrewy and kenytherow f., pl. kenythyrewy. The masculine singular form according to Nance is based on Lhuyd’s canderu. He cites no source for the feminine, nor for either of the plural forms. I have been unable to find Lhuyd’s canderu; it does not seem to be in Archaeologia Britannica nor in Lhuyd’s manuscript dictionary MS Llanstephan 84 in the National Library of Wales.
> The ordinary word for ‘cousin’ in Cornish, however, is cosyn m., pl. cosyns, which is well attested. I have collected the following examples:
> wolcom cayphas re iouyn and yk annas me cosyn ‘welcome, Caiaphas and also my cousin Annas’PC 1687-88
> wel thow fare syr cayfas and yk me cosyn annas ‘farewell, Sir Caiaphas, and also my cousin Annas’ PC 1805-06
> Wel we met, cosyn, forsoth ’barth in forest ow arluth ‘Well we meet, cousin, indeed within the forest of my lord’ BK 40-41
> E vannath genas, cosyn, du plegadow the wor ha gwrek ‘His blessing go with you, cousin, a god kind to man and wife’ BK 651-53
> Dun ahanan, cosyn ker, the Rosewa heb danger ‘Let us go hence, dear cousin, to Rosewa without delay’ BK 1099-100
> Gentyl cosyn, whethyr gost? ‘Gentle cousin, whither art thou going?’ BK 1345
> Welcum, cosin, by my soul! ‘Welcome, cousin, by my soul’ BK 1346
> My duer cosyn, wel etak! ‘My dear cousin, well taken!’ BK 1355
> Cosyn whek, dun ny warbarth ‘Sweet cousin, let us go together’ BK 1373
> I pray you, gentyl cosyn, whetherward be you goyng? ‘I pray you, gentle cousin, where are you going?’ BK 1386-87
> ha prag e rug dyelha ow cosyns heb mur awher ‘and why did he avenge himself on my cousins without hesitation?’ BK 1838-39
> Lavar the’th arluth, cosyn ‘Tell your lord, cousin…’ BK 2112
> Dar, ny worthebys mynrew prag e fuldrys ow cosyns ‘What, did greybeard not reply why he murdered my cousins?’ BK 2285-86
> Ow sockors da ha’m cosyns, prederough a’gys tasow ‘My worthy allies and my cousins, remember your forefathers’ BK 2818-19
> Farwell, ru’m fer! ow cosyn whek ‘Farewell, by my ?fair, my sweet cousin’ BK 2892-93
> Ow bannath genas, cosyn! In gulas nef re omgyffyn ‘My blessing with you, cousin. May we meet again in the kingdom of heaven’ BK 3048-49
> Welcum, cosyn Chellery! ‘Welcome, cousin Childerich!’ BK 3245
> Several things are to be noticed there. First the overwhelming majority of the instances of cosyn, cosyns occur in BK, a text unknown to Nance. Secondly some of the attestations occur in English sentences. Thirdly, cosyn does not mean ‘cousin’ in the strict sense of offspring of one’s uncle or aunt, but is used more generally to mean ‘relative’ or ‘friend’. Even when we have taken those points into consideration, it remains that cosyn, cosyns is an attested word in Cornish for ‘cousin’. It seems to me preferable to use cosyn for ‘cousin’, rather than the elusive canderu/kynderow and the wholly unattested *kenytherow.
> Nicholas
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