Thursday, 30 April 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 71 (A Bit About Days)

A Bit About Days

Some of the following are terms we have already met involving days and days of the week:

dedh (f)                                             a day
dedhyow                                          days
hanter dedh                                     midday (half day)
dohajedh                                          afternoon
trei threveth en dedh                       three times in a day
pub dedh                                          every day, daily
Dedh da dhe whei.                          Good day to you. (greeting)
Me eth dhe’n shoppys De Sadorn. I went to the shops on Saturday.
De Gwener an Grows                      Good Friday
Du Nadelik                                        Christmas Day

What do we make of this? You can see that the ordinary word for day is dedh[1], sometimes mutated when incorporated in longer terms. The mutation is unusual:

dohajedh                                            afternoon
an jedh                                                the day
üdn jedh                                              one day, a certain day
terry an jedh                                       daybreak
e’n jedh hedhyw                                 this (very) day

The version used for days of the week is De[2].

De Sül                                                   Sunday
De Lün                                                  Monday
De Meurth, De Meur’                           Tuesday
De Merher                                             Wednesday
De Yow[3]                                              Thursday
De Gwener                                            Friday
De Sadorn                                             Saturday

The word for special days of the year is Du.

Du Nadelik                                             Christmas Day
Du Halan an Vledhan                            New Year’s Day
Du Pask                                                  Easter Day
Du Pencost                                            Pentecost, Whitsunday
Du Halan Gwav[4]                                  All Saints’ Day

They say there are more saints in Cornwall than there are in Heaven! Not surprisingly, there have been plenty of saint’s feast days or holy days. We have extra words for feast days or festivals, e.g.:

gool                                                          feast, festival
golyow                                                      feasts, festivals
de’gol                                                        feast day, holy day, holiday
de’golyow                                                 feast days, holy days, holidays
de’gol hav[5]                                             summer holiday
De’gol Stefan                                            the Feast of Stephen (Boxing Day)
De’gol Mihal                                              Michaelmas
Golowan                                                   the Feast of St John the Baptist
                                                                   Midsummer’s Day
Golandeys                                                harvest festival, feast of the ricks

There are festival place names:

Golant (Golenance 1454)                           festival valley
Goldsithney (Golsythny 1410)                  St Sithni’s feast

Even the verb to celebrate seems to be related:
golyas                                                        to celebrate

Ma Golowan en mis Efen.                        Midsummer’s Day is in June.         
Ma’n düs en Pensans o colyas Golowan.
                                                   The people in Penzance celebrate Midsummer.
Ma de’golyow dhe Stefan.                        Stephen is on holiday/ has holidays.

We have additional words for such things as the working day, e.g.:

jorna[6] (pl. jorneow)                                 day(s)
jorna whel (pl. jorneow whel)                   work day(s), week day(s)
neb jorna                                                    some day
keniver jorna                                              everyday (alternative to pub dedh)
dhe’n jorna ma                                           to this day
an jorna ma war seythen                          a week today

Here is a line, using two words for day, from the Lord’s Prayer:

Ro dhe nei an jorna ma ’gan bara pub dedh
                                                                   Give us this day our daily bread …

Here is a quotation from the Bible, also using two words for day[7]:

Ha Düw a elwys[8] an golow dedh ha’n tewlder ev a elwys nos, hag y veu gorthüher ha mettin an kensa jorna.
And God called the light day and the darkness he called night, and it was evening and morning of the first day.

[1] RMC dydh
[2] not an abbreviation so you don’t have to use an apostrophe
[3] Market Jew Street in Penzance is so called because there was a Thursday Market there, i.e.  Marhas Yow..
[4] First day of the Celtic NewYear
[5] havyas can also be used for summer holiday
[6]  Gendall spells this jurna or jyrna
[7] Jenesys 1,5
[8] past tense of the verb gelwel to call

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