A Bit About Colours
To ask what colour something is (whether the subject is singular or plural), we say:
Pe liw ew …?
e.g. Pe liw ew an margh na? What colour is that horse?
Pe liw ew ev? What colour is he?
Pe liw ew an vergh na? What colour are those horses?
Pe liw ens? What colour are they?
The simplest answers could be:
Gwidn ew. It’s white.
Gwidn ens. They’re white.
We have a number of words for colours, some British and others perhaps influenced by Latin and Norman French, etc. Some relate to the natural world or are found in place names, e.g.:
cann bright white, feldspar
gwidn white, fair
dû black, dark
glas blue, green (of vegetation), grey
cogh , co’ blood red, scarlet
melyn yellow, buff
gwer bright green
kigliw pink (lit. meat/flesh colour)
tewl brown, dark
Other colours can be made by combining some of those above, e.g.:
We also have the names of metals (similar to their Latin names) that can be used to describe colour, e.g.:
Here are some terms involving colours:
canntir quartz (lit. white land)
mor (collective) berries
(from Latin morum mulberry, blackberry)
moren (f, individual) berry
moren dhû, mor dû blackberry
mola dhû blackbird
spern (collective) thorns
spernen (f, individual) thorn
spernen dhû, spern dû blackthorn(s), sloe(s)
spernen widn, spern gwidn whitethorn(s), hawthorn(s)
gwiwer rous red squirrel
gwiwer loos grey squirrel
pedn rous red head, red headed
We have already seen some place names which include glas. Here are some more with other colours:
Kenwyn (Keynwyn 1316) PN white/fair ridge
Baldhu (Baldue 1755) PN black/dark diggings
Carrick Luz PN grey rock
Carnmeal (Carnmele 1501) PN honey tor
Millook (Mellek 1345) PN honeyed
Ruthvoes (Rudhfos 1296) PN red wall
Wheal Reeth (Wheal Rudh) PN red mine
Pollreath (Poll Rudh) PN red pool
Redruth (Unyredreth 1563) PN St Euny at a red ford
Wheal Vlow PN blue mine
Gwarder (Gwerthour 1312) PN green water/stream
And St Michael’s Mount was once called
Carrek Loos y’n Coos grey rock in the wood
 Usually only male human plurals mutate after an. This is an exception, perhaps because riders personified their horses …
 This is non emphatic. If you want to be more emphatic you can use Pe liw en’jei?
 SWFM <gwynn>
 cf Latin candor shining whiteness
 cf Greek glaukos (Homer used it to describe the glimmering sea) / Latin glaucus blue-grey, green-grey – glaucous now used in botany to describe leaves (there is also a glaucous gull)
 cf French bleu blue
 in Late Cornish this is pronounced [reeth] rather than [rooth]
 blood itself is gooj
 cf Latin ver spring or viridis green
 cf Latin purpur purple
 theSWF glossary has gell light brown and gorm dark brown
 cf Latin aurum
 Gendall also has argan, cf Latin argentum
 This is traditional pre SWF spelling . SWF wood is coos