What On Earth Did That Cornishman Say?

It’s true that we Cornishfolk have odd ways of saying things, well they’re strange to you. Our dialect is different from our neighbours across the Tamar. We have our own language, and we also use slang that may be peculiar to others, making it confusing to someone unknown to our ways.

I’ve compiled a list of 5 Cornish slang words to allow our visitors a chance to understand what the hell is going on when they meet a native Cornishman.


You’ll hear this often when you ask someone to do something for you. Dreckly means soon. So, if you ask someone to tidy something up and they reply ‘I’ll do it dreckly’, it means they’ll do it in a bit. You’ll quite often see this word scribbled across mugs or on stickers. Now you know what it means.


As a woman, it can be quite easy to feel uneasy when called ‘maid’. I know it sounds demeaning I get it. However, in Cornwall, it simply just means woman or girl. It’s a good thing! You may hear it now and then among the older Cornish generations, but I wouldn’t say it’s used all too much anymore.


An English word, right? Yep. It means the same thing too. However, we use it as a greeting. You’ll regularly hear conversations that go a little like this: ‘Alright?’ Yeah, you?’ ‘yeah’. It’s common and all you’ve got to respond with is ‘yeah, you?’ and you’re all set!

Proper job!

When you do a job well, proper job is what you’ll hear. It simply just means well done. This is a great phrase to say with a Cornish accent. I say it just for that reason.


A lot of our phrases are just sentences or words phonetically sounded out with our accents. ‘Wasson’ is simply just ‘what’s on?’. It means the same thing, so you can just reply to it the same way you would with ‘what’s on’.

The Cornish aren’t as confusing as people think. Yes, we say some funny words, but they’re all pretty simple really. You’ll get the hang of it all.

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