[Spellyans] SWF review results.

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 13:33:36 GMT 2014

Golowan is, I believe, not from Gool and Jowan but from the earlier Yowan < Iohannes.
In the texts Yowan survives only in this word.
In the hundred or so years that the Cornish were under the West Saxons, Yowan seems to 
have disappeard to be replaced by the Norman French form Jowan after the conquest.
Two things should be noticed. In the Celtic church saints names were not used as names
for children. The Irish could for example call a boy Giolla Padraig and Maoil Eoin.
It was not until the Norman conquest of Ireland that they began to use the saint's name
as a name for children and then the name appears in a Norman form.
We thus have doublets:

Saint: Eoiin - boy: Sean
Saint Muire - girl: Maire.

It is clear that Yesu for Jesus was used in Pantersbridge < Pont Iesu
but in the texts the name of Jesus was Jesu, Jesus will initial dZ.

If the name had ever been *Yesu in the MC period, one would expect
some texts to write *Esu, *Esus as they write Ethewon as well as Yethewon 'Jews'
or ehes as well as yehes 'health'.

The KK New Testament has Jamys 'James' but Yowan 'John', when 
it is much more likely that the two names had the same initial consonant.

I take it as certain that the MC and thus revived Cornish names should be
Jesu(s), Jowan, Josef/Josep, etc.

Notice incidentally the attested forms for St John the Baptist

sen iowen baptyst BM 4450
S. Johan baptist TH 8
S Johan baptist TH 29a
Jowan baptist TH 43a.

The saint should therefore be called Sen Jowan Baptyst or perhaps better Jowan Baptyst.

There is no warrant for *Yowan an Besydhyer. 


On 28 Mar 2014, at 11:32, Ken MacKinnon wrote:

> Golowan (gol-Jowan);

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