[Spellyans] SWF glossary A-D

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Mon Aug 1 14:17:11 BST 2011

These are my comments:

Review of SWF Glossary



For ‘activity’ the glossary gives gwrians, plural *gwriansow. Gwrians has no plural. The same error has been made s.v. DEED
For ‘afflicted’ the glossary gives plegys. The verbal adj. of plagya is plagys:

lemyn yth oma plagys CW 1576

a vyth plagys creys za ve CW 1615.

Why is not grevya cited? It occurs 13 times.



For ‘get angry’ the glossary gives serri; kemeres sorr. It omits angra:

worth Ihesus rag y angre PA 195c

der henna me a angras CW 1683

Assof engrys BK 2156

yw engrez Rowe.


sorr is usually used with don, not kemeres:

Na thegough sor yn golon PA 37a

na thegovgh sor yn colon PC 539.

I can't find any example of kemeres sorr at the moment.



For ‘anoint’ the glossary gives *olewy. This word is unattested, being borrowed from Breton.

The attested words are ùntya, anoyntya and ura:

a vgh crist rag y vntye PA 35a

an kigg ew anoyntis SA 60a

worth neb a wra ow vre PC 540.



For ‘appear’ the glossary gives omdhisqwedhes.

This is attested once:

ymthysquethas ny vynna the plussyon auelough why RD 1496-97.


A more common way of saying ‘appear’ is dysqwedhes:

ny wruk dev thy'm dysquethas vyth ny'n cresons ef neffre 'God did not appear to me; they will never believe it' OM 1440

e a vednyaz thoranze seer puna Termin reeg an Steare disquethaz Rowe

Elez Neeue a desquethaz ha Joseph a ve hendrez ‘Angels from heaven appeared to Joseph who was asleep’ Rowe.

Tregear uses apperya 14 times and SA has it once. 



For ‘article’ the glossary inter alia gives erthygel. This word is unattested being borrowed from Welsh.

The attested word is artickel: dell vgy apperia owrth an artickell ma SA 64.



For ‘ascend’the glossary gives yskynna, 'skydnya. This is mistaken. Skydnya means ‘descend’: mehall yskydnyow eall splan hellowgh adam gans cletha dan hay wreage mes a baradice  ‘Michael, descend, bright angel, drive Adam with a sword and his wife out of paradise’ CW 964-66 [spoken by the Father in Heaven]

The default word for 'ascend' is ascendya:
assendijs then neff inban BM 4052
then neff assendias inweth BM 4084
fatell rug crist assendia thyn neff TH 33a
ew ascendis then nef SA 59
mas Dew ascendias then neff SA 60.
For ‘astray’ the glossary gives yn sowdhan which occurs twice in TH but not elsewhere.
Tregear also has the stray x 1, in stray x 2 and war stray x 1, none of which is mentioned in the glossary.
For ‘attach’ the glossary gives staga. This word is unattested, having been borrowed from Breton.
The attested words are fastya/fasthe and tackya:
yn growys gans kentrow fastis PA 2d
del fastsens en colmennow PA 76b
worth an grovs rag y faste PA 180a
Han grous a ve drehevys ha Ihesus fasteys ynny PA 184a
may fastyo an colm wharre PC 1525
ha'y fastie gans ebyl pren PC 2563
th'aga fastye dyowgel PC 2572
yn pren crous rak y fastie PC 2666
hay yll leff a ve tackis ord en grows PA 179b
En lybell a ve tackis worth en grous PA 189a
ha pen arall o pytet tackis fast PA 223
gans kentrow worth an plynken bethens tackys PC 2517-18
tackeugh e a hugh y ben PC 2793
drou e thy'mmo the tackye a vgh y pen PC 2807-08
rag takkye an fals profus yn pren crous PC 2672-73
fast tackyes gans kentrow hern PC 2938.
The glossary has a headword bacqwards. This should be backwards.



Under ‘bald’ the glossary gives mol. This is unattested. The attested words are blogh and pylys:


me a pylse the pen blogh BM 3828
a chorll coth te pedn pylles CW 2318.
The glossary s.v. ‘bath’ writes kibel f. This word is unattested in the texts, being derived from Cornu-English kibble ‘tub’. The glossary also cites badh which occurs twice in BM.  The glossary does not mention keryn f. which occurs six times in BK as geren. Nor does the glossary mention the abstract troncas which appears as tronkys in BK: ow cul tronkys hedre ve ‘while you are taking a bath’ BK 1086.



The glossary s.v. ‘beforehand’ says it is a preposition and glosses it a-dherag. ‘Beforehand’ is an adverb. The Cornish is dherag dorn:


me a leverys thewgh therag dorne in tyrmyn passys TH 16a
hag eff the cowse in generally thethans y oll therag dorn TH 44a
an re a ve therag dorne in della TH 57a
na ve travith derag dorn SA 61a
the changia pith ny ve derag dorn SA 62
ha changya an pith na go derag dorne SA 62a
or in some contexts, kyns lemmyn:
kyns leman me a's guarnyas PC 757 
pertheugh cof ol an tokyn a leuerys kyns lemyn PC 1082
why an Jeva sufficient declaracion anotha, kyns lymmyn in kythsame godly homyles ma TH 30a
kyns lemyn sure a gowzas ages bos why gucky CW 2422.
Under ‘battle’ the glossary gives cas f. only. Batel, batallyow is better attested, the first time in OM: rys yv dy'mmo lafurye the vn vatel yredy OM 2176-77; cas and batel are mentioned together: hag in batal hag in cas BK 1439. The glossary does not mention batel.
‘Battle’ in English is also a verb. This is batalyas in Cornish:
orth escar crist batalyays BM 2474. The glossary does not mention the verb.
In the glossary the word ‘beggar’ is misplaced. There is no headword ‘beg’.
The glossary gives ‘below’ as an adverb. It is also a preposition.
The glossary s.v. ‘better’ gives gwella. This is incorrect. Gwella is superlative. The comparative ‘better’ is gwell, e.g. rag my ny vezaf the well  ‘for I shall not be better’ BM 109



Under ‘booklet’ the glossary gives RMC lyvrik, RLC lyvryn. Lyvrik is unattested having been invented by Nance. Lyvryn appears in Lhuyd’s gerlevran seventeen times. There is no need for the dialectal distinction.



The glossary for ‘Britain’ gives Breten. Breten by itself also means ‘Brittany’; see BM passim. Britain is Breten Veur: 

erbyn Myghtern Bretyn Veor BK 1424 
rag Bretayn Veer the’th arluth mas BK 2124
in Bretayn Ver curunys BK 3136.
            Breten Veur is cited later under Great Britain. Perhaps the glossary should refer the reader to the later entry.
Under ‘build’ the glossary gives drehevel, derevel. The commonest words for ‘to build’ in Cornish are gul and byldya. 
Arluth kepar del vynny an gorhel sur my a’n gura ‘Lord as thou wilt indeed the ark, I shall build it’ OM 965-66
yn enour dev my a vyn yn dre-mme gruthyl temple ‘in God’s honour in this town I shall build a temple’ OM 2283-84

Dauid ny wreth thy'mo chy yn certen bys venary ‘David, you shall not indeed ever build me a house’ OM 2333-34

henna yw pur scorn ha geys ragh y fue kyns y vos gurys dew vgens blythen ha whe ‘that is mere scorn and mockery for it was forty six years before it was built’ PC 349051

Ny dale dieu gwile treven war an treath ‘you should not build houses on the sand’ Jenkins.


To use ‘to make’ for building a house is a common Celtic usage; cf. Irish nuair a rinneadh an teach ‘when the house was built’, lit. ‘when the house was made’.


Cyte a ve settys bo byldys war meneth TH 17a
ha buldyys owgh war an fondacion an abosteleth TH 33
an catholyk egglos, a rug crist y honyn byldya TH 35a
ha war an garrak ma me a vyn byldya ow egglos TH 44a
an egglos a ve buldys warnotha TH 45a
eff a rug buldya y egglos TH 45a
ha war an garrak ma me a vyn buldya ow egglos TH 45a
Ha y ma ow buldya y feith TH 48a
Ew the vos buldys in kepar maner TH 41a
bos sufficient grounde rag pub den da oll the byldya TH 55
praga ew genas she omma buyldya lester mar worthy CW 2296-97.

The glossary under ‘bush’ gives prysken f., prysk coll. This word is unattested. The MC words for ‘bush’ are bos and bùsh:

an bos nos dywy a wra saw nyns ugy ov lesky ‘that bush yonder is blazing but it is not burning’ OM 1397-9.


Aspyen orth en buschys BM 1023

In hevelep a flam a dan ow tois mes a busche TH 55

po in bushes ha brakes brase CW 1363

yn cossowe hag in bushes CW 1520

me a vyn mos tha gutha in neb bushe kythew thym greyf CW 1543-44

me a weall un lodn pur vras hans in bushe ow plattya CW 1546-47

prag yth osta in delma yn bushes ow crowetha CW 1606-07.


Bùsh also means ‘crowd’ and the glossary has this, though it spells the word *bosh.



Under ‘buzz’, the glossary gives ‘buzz off ‘and glosses it ke war dha gamm! This is incorrect. Ke war dha gamm means ‘steady on, hold on, not so fast’. ‘Buzz off’ is Gwev ow golok:


Desympis gweyf ow golog! BK 570

Desempys gueyf ow golok BK 993
Desempis guef ow golog BK 3183
or one uses the verb voydya ‘leave, depart’:
bo voyd am syght a pur hond ‘or get out of my sight, you utter cur’ BM 2414
rag henna voyde alema ‘so buzz off’ CW 1276.
Under ‘candlestick’ the glossary gives cantolbren and says the plural in RLC is cantolbrednyer. I don’t think so.  Cantolbren is a respelling of cantulbren ‘candelabrum’ in the OCV. The Middle Cornish development is coltrebyn: ny yll kantyll bos annowys ha gorys in dan busshell, mas war coltrebyn bo chandeler TH 17a. Coltrebyn should be used in preference to cantolbren in both MCR and LCR. The plural is *coltrebynnyer, *coltrebydnyer. The glossary’s *cantolbrednyer is without justification.



carpentor, carpentoryon/carpentors is attested three times in Middle Cornish. Ser prenn is a respelling of Old Cornish sairpren. Carpentor should at least be cited.



The glossary gives cador, cadoryow. This word is known only from place-names, where it refers largely to rocks. The ordinary MC word for ‘chair’ was chair:


cheyrys ha formys plente PC 2229
dus oma ese yth cheer BM 3002
then stall po cheare an scribys han phariseis TH 48a
den vith ioynys the chear pedyr TH 49.
I can’t see why this headword is included (apart from its being in Gerlyver Kres). A chandler is a candle seller, not a merchant.
The glossary gives tolla which means ‘deceive’. Cheating is not the same. The correct word is hyga.
Ha ro man do higha an lath ‘and give up falsifying the yard’ Gwavas
There is no attested dual of this word. Dywvogh [diwvogh] is an invention. The plural is known only from boah, bohaw — Cheek, cheeks in the Bodewryd Glossary.
add gwaya-mir.
hùbadùlya derives from Cornu-Engish. It is not attested in Cornish as such. Isn’t tervans a better word? hag a thros lyes enef a ver drok tervyns ha cas RD 2575-76.
tackya diwleuv should be tackya dewla. *Diwleuv for trad. dywleff is an etymological spelling.
*Hin is unattested being borrowed from Breton. I prefer the neologism *aireth, *airedhow.
*Arvor is unattested, being based on Welsh and Breton. Morrep occurs in place-names. The word attested in the texts is cost:
Pan nowothou, pan guestlow us genowgh why a’n cost west? BK 2222-23
Ke souyth ha north ha gura cry cref in pub cost BK 2350-51.
add mantel (mantall SA 60 x 2).
add color, colorys:
fayr an suyt bryte of colour PC 1684
worth agan payntia ny in mes in colors TH 7a
Colorys cler lun a whekter BK 1712-13.
Although the glossary has comfortable as a headword it has neither comfort noun nor comfort verb. Confort, comfort is attested 27 times, and confortya 29 times.
Avowans is unattested. Tregear has confession once. He uses confessia 12 times. BK has confessour ‘confessor’.
The glossary gives fug adj. The word is unattested being borrowed from Welsh and supported by dialect feak. The only attested word for ‘counterfeit’ is contyrfet, i.e. the English word itself:
dre reson y the Justyfia aga honyn dre aga contyrfett benegitter therag an presens an bobill TH 9
The glossary s.v. course (direction) gives hyns, which is unattested in Old, Middle or Late Cornish. It does not, however, give cors, cours which is actually attested:
an guyns thagen corse dufa BM 106
Py du y syngough an cours? BK 1380.
The glossary tells us that the word for ‘court’ is lys and for ‘court of law’ is breuslys. Lys is attested in place-names but not in the texts. Breuslys is an invention. The only attested word for ‘court of law’ is cort:
Ma tha vee treall en cort an Vaternes ‘I have a trial in the Queen’s court’ Bilbao MS. The queen is Queen Anne (1702-1714).
The glossary doesn’t mention this word.
The glossary for this word gives pedrevanas (from BM 4218). It does not, however, mention the cramya, cramyas from Genesis 1 by JKeigwin and JBoson.
The glossary gives gwruthyl and says it is an alternative to gul.
The glossary gives gwrier, creador and furvyer. Gwrier is attested in Middle Cornish. Creador is in OCV. Furvyer is an invention. The word formyer is attested in Middle Cornish. Indeed it occurs at the beginning of OM and in two other texts:
En tas a nef y'm gylwyr formyer pup tra a vyt gvrys OM 1-2
the orth an formyer guella BM 3881
mear worthyans theis ow formyer CW 1414.
The glossary gives one Middle Cornish word, one Old Cornish term and one complete invention. Formyer, which was clearly, a common word for 'creator' it doesn't cite at all.
The glossary tells us this word is pryv in RMC and prev in RLC. Really?  Preff referring to St Silvester’s dragon is the only form found in Beunans Meriasek. In CW the word is preve, pryf, preaf, and preif. BM is Late Cornish then and CW is Middle Cornish?
The glossary gives arvreusy and crytikya. Both are inventions. The second is based on Nance’s *crytyca, itself based on Lhuyd’s creteco ‘critics’ AB: 224. Why has Nance’s crytyca become a verb in -ya?
The glossary gives molethy, but omits cùssya:
ha paris the cussia ha ty TH 7a
me a yll cussya henna CW 788.
The glossary gives nans. This is attested once only in the texts (in the plural):
yn ketella an nanssow wy a bys ragas cuthe PA 170b.
The glossary does not mention tenow, pl. tenwyn:
drys tnow, drys gun, drys mene’ BK 1161
drys tenuyn ha menythyow BK 2314
a nug thygo drys tenuyn BK 2528.
Decevya, dessevya is attested  9 times. Dyssaytya occurs once in PA
If ‘deliver’ means ‘free, liberate’ fria should also be included: Ha genz hedna an Vartshants a vî frîez JCH §36.
In the vn. a is commoner than e: dybarth x 7, debarth x 2;  dyberth x 2 , deberth x 1. Departya is attested twice (TH and SA).
The entry here is mistaken. Deskydnya is not LC. Skydnya is.
Why is not dysert mentioned? It occurs in BM 4030, 4138.
Surely there are three different forms: dystrewy/dystrowy, dystruya and destria.
The glossary gives distruyans. This is an invention. The attested word is dystrùcsyon:
rag agan dry the thestruccion TH 5a
yma destruccion hag anken in aga furthow TH 7a
yma an destruccion ahanowhy ow tos a hanow agys honyn TH 12
thega destruccion aga honyn TH 18
thega destruccion aga honyn TH 18a
an decay a cherite ew an destruction an bys TH 21
an Destruccion a Jherusalem TH 47a
Ha wosa henna in destruccion TH 49a
distructyon yma ornys CW 2150
han distructyon a vyth bras CW 2162
an distructyon brase han lywe CW 2358
distructyon vythe an parna CW 2506.
Also called tebel el, teball el in PA, BM, TH and BK over 23 times altogether.
Bos marow is also commonly used for ‘to die’. See my article on the Cornish preterite for examples.
dybarow also means ‘different’: yth henwaf bewgh ha tarow oll an chattall debarowe CW 403-04. So does dyvers: palgy ha dyvers clevyon BM 4483.
Omgùssulya is an invention. Dadhla is an invention. The attested word for ‘discuss’ is debatya: mara tuen ha debatya BM 3476.
Drog pys is attested occasionally. I can find one example.
The commonest word for ‘displeased’ is dysplêsys:
ha na vewy dysplesys BM 119
ha na vewy dysplesijs BM 322
genes ythoff dysplesijs BM 400
dysplesijs pur guir genas BM 490
Kynth ogh geneff dysplesijs BM 492
…………. na dysplaysys BK 708.
tyrry blonogath y soveran hay displesya TH 4a
Ny’n dysplaysyth, mars os fuer BK 985.
Ranndir is an invention. The word in the texts is cost, côstys:
py tyller yma moyses ha py cost yma trygys PC 1551-52
Jhesus a theth then costes a cesarye philippi TH 43a
Ancresya is an invention. The attested words are ancombra and annia.
Fycycyen is also well attested:
ov bosy fecycyen connek BM 1421
in bysma rag fecycyen BM 1484
Eff ew an phisicion han metheg TH 11.
Add baban BM 3405
By far the commonest way of saying ‘down, downwards’ is dhe’n dor (see the examples in Towards Authentic Cornish §19.15 where I cite over 35 examples from PA to Chirgwin:
rag y thry zen dor gans meth PA 136b
Fatla gura ve agaz gorra why en dowr ACB.
‘To dwell’ in Cornish is not triga but bos trigys:
yn neff y vonas tregys PA 7b
ha py cost yma trygys OM 1552
thyn ena rag bos trygys OM 1626
gans ihesu a nazare yn certan a fue trygys PC 1279-80
na gans dev ny vyth trygys RD 1110
yma tregys in cambron BM 687
py ma tregys BM 816
omma yth ese tregys BM 1963
tregys off lemen heb wov berth in castel an dynas BM 2208-09
Tregys vue in lestevdar BM 2284
vgy y vab Jhesus crist inhy tregys TH 11a
kyn fes tregys gans an Jowl! BK 45
Yma tregys in Kembra BK 1292
ena ty a vyth tregys CW 244
En Termen ez passiez thera Trigaz en St. Levan; Dean ha Bennen en Tellar creiez chei an Horr JCH §1.
We must get rid of this UC mistake of Me a drig ‘I live’. Me a drig means ‘I shall remain’. I live is Yth oma tregys or Yth esof vy tregys. 
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