[Spellyans] jangye-ryn

Craig Weatherhill weatherhill at freenet.co.uk
Fri Aug 1 07:56:44 BST 2008

Sorry, O jet-lagged one - have been busy with proof-reading (new book) 
plus being seen (and photographed by the local paper) in suit, tie and 
grey bowler hat on a horse-drawn vehicle at St Buryan Rally.

I still stick to "ice-house" or "cold store", unless any further 
evidence turns up.  And I know of quite a few of these - there's one, 
for example, within sight of my house on the rhododendron-covered slopes 
of Trengwainton Carn.  Takes a bit of finding.  Winnianton was a very 
important manorial site, by the way, all the way from Domesday.  I know 
it's a modest farm now - all trace of the manor house has long gone, 
same as at Kelynack.  The name is Cornish gwynan, "white/fair place", 
with Old English tun, "farm, settlement" added, and the nearby headland 
is Pedngwinian to this day.  I would, though, like to see more historic 
references and spellings for Jangye-ryn.

I don't think that "engine house" comes into it, though.  Firstly, the 
word jynjy is (I think) one of Nance's inventions and, secondly, there 
is no record of any mine in the area.

That initial Y occasionally becomes J in Late Cornish can be seen in 
names like Venton Jean (fenten yeyn) and Chapel Jane (chapel yeyn - 
although here yeyn is actually a corruption of ynyal, "desolate", the 
old name for Gurnard's Head.  An early reference to the chapel remains 
was Inyall Chapell), as well as an Park an Jet (park an yet).

Thanks for the kind words about little Larns.  She is still with us but 
the advice from the vet is to let her enjoy summer and autumn but she 
will not be able to withstand a cold winter.  I may have to make a 
pretty awful decision at that point.  She is now so thin she looks like 
she's walked out of Belsen (can no longer turn food into fat, and she 
not only has two big meals a day - more than I have - but demolishes 
them with obvious relish.).  However, she is full of herself, despite 
near-blindness and is otherwise extremely well and very happy (and can 
still trot and canter around freely, too).  It's the fact that she is so 
fit and obviously content with life that makes it all so difficult.  
However, she is 37 years of age, which is one hell of an age, and she's 
been with me for the last 21 of those, becoming the family I don't 
have.  Losing the old dear will leave a huge hole.  Of course, there's 
Paddy, the beer-swilling Irishman, and the giant Shogun (all 18 hands of 
him), but neither of them actually belong to me.


Penny Squire wrote:
> Craig,
> I may still be a little jet-lagged (or possibly sampan-lagged!) but I 
> can't find any response from you to my comments on jangye-ryn (see 
> below, to save you digging through the archives) and I am curious as 
> to your view on my suggestion.
> As a compensation for letting myself in for an unexpected trip East on 
> top of the expected ten days elsewhere I'm now taking four weeks off, 
> so can catch up on Cornish stuff - you guys have been busy!
> Really sorry to hear about Larnie, Craig. I had to face losing a horse 
> in my teens and it still twists me inside.
> Penny 
> Craig,
> Jangye-ryn cannot  be 'ice-house'!
> What would an ice-house be doing near Winnianton, a modest farm on the
> cliffs north of Mullion? As far as I know, only manor houses and such
> could afford to have ice-houses built, plus all the time, trouble and
> expense of hauling ice in winter, mixing with salt, etc.  Pencarrow had
> one, built in the early 1800s, I don't know of any other in Cornwall,
> but there may have been some.  I doubt if ice houses were known in
> Cornwall much before then, and this place name is surely older.
> Jangye-ryn almost certainly is jynnji-rynn or
> jynnji-run (engine house [on a] promontory, or engine house [on a]
> slope) - with both the 'j' and the 'g' of 'jangye' pronounced as in
> 'jail'. It has an 'a' where one would expect a 'y' or an 'i'
> admittedly, but that's Cornish place names for you!
> And, of course, the word order is Cornish.
> I do hope that this example of historical sloppy spelling by some unknown
> scribe/cartographer does not encourage any more theories about vocalic 
> alternation
> or dialects.
> Penny
> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks
> No, yeth should not be pronounced that way (and the only attested form
> of that word is, in fact <eyth> in Tregear).  The soft j or zh sound for
> initial Y is confined to very few words, of which yeyn and yet are the
> most commonly found..  I think this also turns up in the coastal name
> Jangye-ryn (Gunwalloe) which (apart from having suffered reversal to an
> English word order) appears to contain the compound yeyn-jy (ice-house,
> cold store).
> Craig
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