‘Dydh da’ – remember it means ‘Good day’ – sounds a bit Australian. Do you think that all those Cornish miners who went to Moonta, Ballarat and Kadina said ‘dydh da’ to each other and it got translated to ‘G’day’?  No, nor do I – ‘flows yn tien’ (complete non-sense).

Anyway, ‘Fatla genes?’ (How are you?). ‘Da lowr’ (Alright), I hope. We were talking about my friend’s friend calling his new house in Redruth ‘Chi lowen’ which means ‘happy house’.

Actually, when we chatted we recalled that old tale about an old woman who had a red cloak and she was called Ruth and that was how Redruth got her name – ‘flows yn tien’ (complete non-sense)!

Being aware of ‘Kernewek’ we knew that Redruth is derived from ‘res’ (ford) and ‘rudh’ (red).  Some say this rudhis Bolster’s blood and some say it’s discoloured water from tin streaming.

Another name with ‘rudh’ (red) in it is ‘Ruthvoes’ (St Columb Major).  Kolom was a beautiful young Christian woman who was a disciple of Sen Karensek.  Now, the local lord, who was a pagan, fell in love with her.  He demanded that Kolom marry him, but she refused and that she only had love for God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  The pagan lord would not take no for an answer and chased poor Kolom all over the Goss Moor.  The pursuit ended when she came up against a ‘fos’ – that a wall or dyke. The enraged lord asked Kolom again to be his wife, this time at sword point.  She again refused and then started praying, ‘Agan Tas ni usi yn nevow, sanshes re bo dha hanow…’

Swish! The pagan lord had cut off the head of Kolom with one blow. The head carried on praying… ‘dha vodh re gwrys yn nor kepar hag yn nev’… the pagan fled and was never seen again.

The body of Sen Kolom bled for a year and a day and stained the area around the ‘fos’ the colour ‘rudh’.  This has given us the place-name ‘Rudhfos / Ruthvoes’ (pronounced ‘Ruthers’ today), two parishes St Columb Major and St Columb Minor and the town of St Columb – which narrowly lost out to Truro as a site for Cornwall’s cathedral – but that’s another story.  So ‘rudh’ is the red of old blood!

Hey, remember, ‘Chi gwynn’ from ‘chi’ and ‘gwynn’ (white, pale, blessed)?

You can read this in Dyskadores from the Tales from Porth series.

Da yw genev rudh ha da yw genev vy glas ha da yw genev vy melyn!” says Dyskadores, (“I like red and I like blue and I like yellow!”)

So ‘rudh’ is red and ‘glas’ is blue and ‘melyn’ is yellow.

A few other colours; ‘du’ is black, ‘loos’ is grey, ‘gwyrdhis’ is green.

So, now if you want to give your house a name in ‘Kernewek’ you could have;

‘Chi gwynn’ (white house) – the President of the USA lives in ‘An Chi Gwynn’.

‘Chi loos’ (grey house) – yes I know looks like ‘toilets’, remember ‘Chi byghan’.

‘Chi du’ (black house) – houses in Bath were black before being cleaned up.

‘Chi rudh’ (red house) – might be a red brick house.

‘Chi melyn’ (yellow house) – a bright and cheerful choice!

‘Chi gwyrdh’ (green house) – a greenhouse is ‘chi gweder’ literally ‘glass house’.

‘Chi glas’ (blue house) – perhaps somebody swears a lot in this house.

So there are some ideas to get you started with naming your house in ‘Kernewek’!


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