Cornish Dialect
Cornish Dialect and Language

The Dictionary of Cornish Dialect


This collection of dialect is from Fred Ivey's publication called Memories of a Long and Happy Life, November 1996

This is my effort to help keep the Cornish dialect alive, soon to be lost from lack of useage.

The Cornish dialect is usually spoken, not written, and the spellings in this dictionary are the pronunciations. Each parish had it's own dialect, if you were to travel all through Cornwall, you would hear many different forms of dialect.

The Cornish dialect is not to be confused with the old Cornish language, the two are apart from each other. It is possiable however that some of the old Cornish language has survived in the dialect.

To learn more about the Cornish language I suggestAgan Tavas , it is a very informative, easy to follow web site on everything you ever wanted to know about the Cornish Language and more!

See a story in the dialogue

Cornish Dialect - Use It or Lose It
by Joy Stevenson (Maid Lowenna) (Bard Of The Cornish Gorsedd)

The Cornish Language - An Yeth Kernewek

A bit of history.......
In 1685, Mr William Hals, Gentleman, began to make collections for a parochial History of Cornwall and he wrote..........
Doctor John Moorman, vicar of this Church, was the first minister in all Cornwall that said or taught the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Creed in the English tongue in 1529; for then by proclanation were called in all the booksof the Latin service for churches; and the Bishops commanded in their several dioceses that forthwith should be warned, all prebendaries of their cathedral churches, all parsons, vicars, curates, and churchwardens of every parish within their dioceses, to bring in and deliver up particularly.

On 25 Feb 1529, Dr Moorman, who held the rectory of the Holy Trinity, Exeter, which he resigned on being appointed to this Menheniot living, is said to have been the first who in these parts, taught and catechised his parishioners in the English language, the ancient Cornish having been previously used. He died circa 1554. Previous to the days of Dr Moorman, who introduced the English Liturgy into this church, the Cornish language was used in all the churches of the county.
"Whitaker states", "The English Liturgy, was not desired by the Cornish, but forced upon them by the tyranny of England, at a time when the English language was yet unknown in Cornwall. This act of tyranny was at once gross barbarity to the Cornish people, and a death blow to the Cornish language."
.......sent to me by Ron Lake of Polruan-by-Fowey

Charles Penglase's Cornish Language Site
"A couple of varieties of Cornish, presented in the form of stories, for beginners in Cornish and for those more experienced in the language. Pages of information on the language are also supplied. So far these are in Cornish, English and Italian."

The Cornish Language Page by Mr Chris Dunkerley

Cornish Language Advisory Service

Traditional and Historical Survivals of Late Cornish

Cornish Media Archive LISTEN to the Cornish language

Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek The Cornish Language Fellowship

An Tavas Kernewek war'n Web Cornish on the Web

Nebas Lavrow

Tabm Kernuack- A Bit of Modern Cornish


Gaelic Dictionaries Online

This background is the home of Dolly Pentreath in Mousehole.