[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jul 22 09:13:22 BST 2014

Gromercy ha mur ras dhys a'n lavar skentyl-na, Jon!

Indeed we should not ignore them, Janice. Pryce and Borlase are valuable sources, and it is clear from Nance's excellent 1938 dictionary that he, for one, was fully aware of them—unlike some of his backbiting begrudgers.

And one should remember that "I was unable to find..." and "X is not attested" may easily signal the gaps that are in one's own knowledge of the Cornish corpus, rather than in those one maligns (and misquotes) ad nauseam.

Eddie Climo

On 22 Jul 2014, at 08:42, Janice Lobb <janicelobb at gmail.com> wrote:

> we should not ignore Pryce and Borlase
> On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 8:37 AM, Jon Mills <j.mills at email.com> wrote:
> "Kendereu, A. a Cousin-german" [Borlase "A Cornish-English Vocabulary"]
> "HANDERU, a cousin german" [Pryce 1790]
> Ol an gwella,
> Jon Mills
> Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM
> From: "Nicholas Williams" <njawilliams at gmail.com>
> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
> Cc: "Agan Tavas discussion list" <agantavas at spyrys.org>
> Subject: [Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'
> The Cornish for ‘cousin’
> Nance for ‘cousin’ recommends kenderow m., pl. kendyrewy and kenytherow f., pl. kenythyrewy. The masculine singular form according to Nance is based on Lhuyd’s canderu. He cites no source for the feminine, nor for either of the plural forms. I have been unable to find Lhuyd’s canderu; it does not seem to be in Archaeologia Britannica nor in Lhuyd’s manuscript dictionary MS Llanstephan 84 in the National Library of Wales.
> The ordinary word for ‘cousin’ in Cornish, however, is cosyn m., pl. cosyns, which is well attested. I have collected the following examples:
> wolcom cayphas re iouyn and yk annas me cosyn ‘welcome, Caiaphas and also my cousin Annas’PC 1687-88
> wel thow fare syr cayfas and yk me cosyn annas ‘farewell, Sir Caiaphas, and also my cousin Annas’ PC 1805-06
> Wel we met, cosyn, forsoth ’barth in forest ow arluth ‘Well we meet, cousin, indeed within the forest of my lord’ BK 40-41
> E vannath genas, cosyn, du plegadow the wor ha gwrek ‘His blessing go with you, cousin, a god kind to man and wife’ BK 651-53
> Dun ahanan, cosyn ker, the Rosewa heb danger ‘Let us go hence, dear cousin, to Rosewa without delay’ BK 1099-100
> Gentyl cosyn, whethyr gost? ‘Gentle cousin, whither art thou going?’ BK 1345
> Welcum, cosin, by my soul! ‘Welcome, cousin, by my soul’ BK 1346
> My duer cosyn, wel etak! ‘My dear cousin, well taken!’ BK 1355
> Cosyn whek, dun ny warbarth ‘Sweet cousin, let us go together’ BK 1373
> I pray you, gentyl cosyn, whetherward be you goyng? ‘I pray you, gentle cousin, where are you going?’ BK 1386-87
> ha prag e rug dyelha ow cosyns heb mur awher ‘and why did he avenge himself on my cousins without hesitation?’ BK 1838-39
> Lavar the’th arluth, cosyn ‘Tell your lord, cousin…’ BK 2112
> Dar, ny worthebys mynrew prag e fuldrys ow cosyns ‘What, did greybeard not reply why he murdered my cousins?’ BK 2285-86
> Ow sockors da ha’m cosyns, prederough a’gys tasow ‘My worthy allies and my cousins, remember your forefathers’ BK 2818-19
> Farwell, ru’m fer! ow cosyn whek ‘Farewell, by my ?fair, my sweet cousin’ BK 2892-93
> Ow bannath genas, cosyn! In gulas nef re omgyffyn ‘My blessing with you, cousin. May we meet again in the kingdom of heaven’ BK 3048-49
> Welcum, cosyn Chellery! ‘Welcome, cousin Childerich!’ BK 3245
> Several things are to be noticed there. First the overwhelming majority of the instances of cosyn, cosyns occur in BK, a text unknown to Nance. Secondly some of the attestations occur in English sentences. Thirdly, cosyn does not mean ‘cousin’ in the strict sense of offspring of one’s uncle or aunt, but is used more generally to mean ‘relative’ or ‘friend’. Even when we have taken those points into consideration, it remains that cosyn, cosyns is an attested word in Cornish for ‘cousin’. It seems to me preferable to use cosyn for ‘cousin’, rather than the elusive canderu/kynderow and the wholly unattested *kenytherow.
> Nicholas
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