Published January 26, 2012
Stories , Word of the week
Tags: B'y, Backlong, Cornish, Cornish dialect words, Cornish language, Cris, Denner, dreckly, Durns, Heller, Larrups, Mazed, Me'ansum, Roaring, Scat, Screeching, Squallass, Squalling, Stagged, Tacker, Teasey, Twas, Wasson
I’ve been a bit slow in the Cornish word of the week so to make up for the lack of words I’m going to have a go at a couple of sentences!
Backalong (in former times) when I was a tacker (small child) I was a heller (child who plays their parents up). I ran through me mother’s kitchen with me boots stagged (muddy) in mud, ‘ Cris’ Father shouted ‘That B’y (boy) is teasey (bad-tempered). Well, I were runnin’ so fast I scat ( to hit or break) the table and me father’s denner (dinner) landed on the floor. Well, he was mazed (angry). I was running so fast I tripped hitting me head on the kitchen durns (door frame).
I picked myself up squalling (crying), I was proper screeching (crying loudly) twas (was). Me (my) brother was in the front room (lounge), came running out ‘Wasson (whats going on) me ‘ansum? (friendly form of address). ‘I’ve scat Dad’s denner off the table smashing his plate to larrups (pieces/bits) all over the floor. He’s mazed!’ By this time I was roaring (weeping loudly). My brother picked up his coat and shouted ‘Mother, Mark’s a squallass (crybaby) I’ll see ‘e’ (you) dreckly!
This story is not based on fact and no children were hurt in this process (although I was a bit of a heller!) 😉
p.s that was a spell checkers nightmare!
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.