[Spellyans] taste

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Sat Nov 22 13:35:36 GMT 2014

In my dictionary for the noun 'taste' I give inter alia blas.
Under 'to taste' I give, inter alia, *blasa. 

How I wish I hadn't cited either! Govy pàn wrug avy comendya onen vëth anodhans!

The noun blas is, as far as I can see, attested once in traditional Cornish and it means 'smell, stench, tang'.

In RD Tiberius the emperor says of Pilate's corpse:

kemereugh corf an drok was vgy ow flerye gans blas yw myligys  'take the body of the scoundrel which is stinking with an accursed stench' RD 2159-61.

The word *blasa 'to taste' is not attested; it was suggested by Nance on the basis of blas in RD and Welsh and Breton. The only attested word for 'to taste' is tastya, which is well attested, particularly in the context of
the Fall when Adam and Eve's tasted the forbidden tree.  I have cited all the examples of tastya I can find in Geryow Gwir but I wil,l like the dog in Proverbs 26.11 (Kepar ha ky ow tewheles dh’y whejans y honen yw an bobba a wrella y folneb an secùnd treveth) quote the examples here again:

honna yw ol the vlamye a dorras an avel tek hag a’n dug thy’m the dastye ‘she is all to blame who plucked the fine apple and brought it to me to taste’ OM 266-68
ty re gam wruk eredy ha re’n dros the vur anken pan russys thotho dybry ha tastye frut a’n wethen ‘you have transgressed indeed and have brought him to great misery when you induced him to eat and to taste the fruit of the tree’ OM 281-84
Eff a considras y pehosow compys theworth an wreythan, oll an buddes an barrow, oll an effect, ow tastya, ow gwellas, ow predery ‘He considered his sins complete from the root, all the buds, the boughs, all the effect, tasting, seeing, considering’ TH 8a
Judas a ruk tastia corf an arluth ‘Judas tasted the Lord’s body’ SA 65a
ef a tastyas kigg an arluth Dew ‘he tasted the flesh of the Lord God’ SA 65a
mar pyth y frute hy tastys te a vyth dampnys ractha ‘if its fruit is tasted, you will be damned for it’ CW 377-78
me a levar thys eva mar gwreth tastya an frute ma es oma war an wethan maga fure te a vea avell dew es awartha ‘I tell you, Eve, if you taste this fruit which is on the tree, you will be as wise as God who is above’ CW 618-22
dew a ornas contrary na theffan tastya henna ‘God ordained on the contrary that we should not taste that’ CW 630-31
genas a peva tastys maga fure te a vea yn pub poynt sure avella ‘if it were tasted by you, you would be in every way as wise as he’ CW 640-42
me a ra in pur serten ny allaf ra pell perthy pan vo reys tastya anothy ‘I shall indeed. I cannot long endure, since one has to taste of it’ CW 689-91
ha by god nyng es zym dowte tha dastya a[n] keth avall ‘and by God I do not fear to taste the same apple’ CW 705-06
mar gwreth tastya anotha eve a drayle thezo tha leas moy eas myllyow a bynsow ‘if you do taste of it, it will turn out to you of more value than thousands of pounds’ CW 738-40
hay bromas y tho largya mar gwrean tastya an frut na avell dew ny a vea ‘and his promise was generous: if we were to taste of that fruit, we should be like God’ CW 780-82
syr war nebas lavarow tast gy part an avallow po ow harenga ty a gyll ‘sir, in a word, tas part of the apples or you will lose my love’ CW 830-32
hy a dorras an avall teake hag an dros thym tha dastya ‘she plucked the fair apple and gave it to me to taste’ CW 879-80
adam na eva pegha ha deffan an tas terry mernans ny wressans tastya ‘had Adam and Eve not sinned and broken the Father’s prohibition, they would not have tasted death’ CW 994-97
a vs kyek an bestas na na a veast na lodn in beyse ny wressan bythqwath tastya ‘hitherto flesh of those animals or of any beast or animal in the world we have not ever tasted’ CW 1470-73
ny dastyans an payne bras ‘they shall not taste the great torment’ CW 2063.

It is apparent that the authentic word in Cornish for 'to taste' is tastya. My question is: how do we say 'a taste', i.e. 'a little, a sample'?


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