[Spellyans] SWF review results.

Ken MacKinnon ken at ferintosh.org
Fri Mar 28 14:58:40 GMT 2014

Many thanks, Nicholas, most informative.


In my earlier posts today I was discussing Golenoder in response to Craig’s
discussion of Golowan.


I was unable to make the recent Cornish language conference owing to a chest
infection, and was sorry to have missed it.   Julie Tamblin took my place,
and reported on the proceedings.    Yourself and Brian Ó hEadhra had a
recorded discussion, which I hope will become available for those who missed
the event.   I was hoping to make the Celtic Media Festival in St Ives next
week, but I am sorry to have to miss out on that as well.


-        Ken


From: Spellyans [mailto:spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net] On Behalf Of
Nicholas Williams
Sent: 28 March 2014 13:34
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] SWF review results.


Golowan is, I believe, not from Gool and Jowan but from the earlier Yowan <

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

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

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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