Musings on Cornish house names Part 1
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!
You can read this in Dyskadores from the Tales from Porth series.
So, now if you want to give your house a name in ‘Kernewek’ you could have;
‘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’!