[Spellyans] The Cornish for 'cousin'

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Tue Jul 22 22:32:57 BST 2014

Borlase includes in his vocabulary many words which are clearly not Cornish.
Shortly after Kendereu he cites Kerheis 'a heron' Lh. 
This is Lhuyd's A[rmorican] Kerheis AB: 3b. Lhuyd's Cornish word
is Kerhidh which Lhuyd quotes in the same article. 
Also under k Borlase gives Koat 'a wood'. This is Breton koad. 

Borlase cites Chaden, a chain. Although this is pure Breton, he does not
put A or Ar after it, so one might be forgiven for thinking it was Cornish. 
The attested word for 'chain' in Cornish is chayn, plural chaynys.
Chaden is not known in Cornish. 

The most suspicious feature of kendereu is that the word looks like Old Cornish
but has no equivalent in OCV. 

To be fair to him Borlase includes Welsh words as well, e.g. barn 'to judge', barner 'judge', benthygio 'to borrow'.
In that last item the final -io makes it clear that the word is not Cornish.

Borlase even has a sprinkling of Irish words, e.g. Bealtine, the fire of Mayday.

Borlase is also the source of *blas 'taste', for he gives blaz 'taste'. Blaz 'taste' is Breton.
The word blas in Cornish is attested once and means 'stink'. There is no Cornish word *blasa 'to taste'
and Nance admits that it is borrowed from Welsh and Breton. The Cornish for 'to taste' is always


On 22 Jul 2014, at 19:19, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:

> Whose brother, at Castle Horneck, Madron, was in regular contact with Cornish speakers, notably Dolly P., about whom he wrote to Barrington.  Why include it in a Cornish vocabulary if it was exclusive to Brittany?
> Craig
> On 2014 Gor 22, at 19:15, Nicholas Williams wrote:
>> Kenderu is not in Lhuyd as a Cornish word with the meaning 'cousin'.
>> It occurs in AB twice as a Breton word. The idea that it was Cornish seems to come from Borlase.
>> 22 Jul 2014, at 18:44, Craig Weatherhill <craig at agantavas.org> wrote:
>>>  Sources of attestation on Cornish are so limited.  However, if Lhuyd included <kenderu>, then that must mean that he, or his colleagues, heard it here in Cornwall.
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