A Cornish Tacker

When I moved up-country some 12 years ago I worked in a photographic portrait studio in Marlow, Bucks. The main part of the business was photographing families and most of those were what was described as a FG1, a family group where the oldest child was less than 6. Quite often, on going up stairs to the offices and digital rooms your colleagues would ask how the session went. They had more often than not heard children rampaging around the studio beneath screaming at the tops of their voices for the last hour whilst they sat there retouching images, drinking coffee and listening to music.  With the sweat dripping off my brow, I would calmly say ‘fine, got some good shots’ as I downloaded my images in the hope it was not a reshoot. ‘What did you have? they asked. ‘O just a couple of tackers’ I would say.

Oblivious to what I was on about eventually one day someone said ‘Tacker? What is that?’

‘Small child!’ I said. ‘Ive never heard you say that before’ came the response. Convinced I had being using the term ‘tacker’ for year I explained that I called a small child a tacker. It turns out this is a Cornish phrase and I didn’t realise it was not part of the Queens English. Surely Prince Charles has been refered to by his parents as a little tacker!?

So, in doing a bit of research for you I have learned that a Tacker is in fact a small boy up to the age of about 10. It is now a term I have dropped from my vocabulary due to many confused looks from those up-country folk.

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1 Response to “A Cornish Tacker”


  1. 1 have2have1Janeen January 15, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    It’s what I was always called as a young child and I live in Adelaide, South Australia. Now as an award-winning children’s author, I have an historical children’s novel coming out in May, 2013, called ‘That boy, Jack,’ set in the Cornish mines area of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo (South Australia) in c1870s. In it, I’ve used the word ‘tacker’ as well. I’ve Cornish ancestry and
    am looking forward to reading more of your blog!
    Janeen (www.janeenbrian.com)


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