[Spellyans] 'to make the bed' in Cornish

Clive Baker clive.baker at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 16:29:28 BST 2014

Thank you Nicholas... it is a question that has arisen in my mind before,
and miraculously I came up with the same guessed answer...I had meant to
check it with you, but it became lost in my butterfly mind.

On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM, Nicholas Williams <njawilliams at gmail.com>wrote:

> I may have mentioned this matter before. If so, I apologise. It is just
> that I am translating a text in which beds are made.
> 'To make the bed' in English means to get the bed ready to sleep in, to
> straighten the sheets and blankets, or whatever.
> In Welsh 'to make the bed' is *cyweirio y gwely*. In Irish one says *an
> leaba a chóiriú*. *Leaba* 'bed' replaces an earlier *folige* which is
> identical in origin with *gwely* < **wolige*-
> The Welsh *cyweirio* and the Irish *cóiriú* are etymologically related,
> being based on an adjective **ko*(*m*)-*wari*- 'correct, tidy, accurate'.
> This adjective occurs once in Cornish in the expression *bum pur gewar
> desezys* 'a blow very accurately placed' PA 138b. The derived verb would
> be **kewera* 'to fit, to arrange', which is not attested, though Nance
> includes it in his 1938 dictionary;  *keweras* 'fulfilment' is attested
> at PA 83d.
> My late mother-in-law from County Armagh never said 'make the bed' but
> always 'straighten the bed' and this would seem
> to reflect the expression used in the Irish of her recent ancestors.
> I think it is very likely that the Insular Celtic peoples, when getting
> beds ready for sleeping, used a phrase like
> **kom-war- sindo- wolige-.*
> I would suggest, therefore, that for making the bed in Cornish we say *kewera
> an gwely*, e.g. *res yw dhybm kewera an gweliow lebmyn.*
> Nicholas
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