Publication of the second edition of Gerlyver Kescows in printed form is expected once the new Gerlyver Brâs has been finalized. Meanwhile the full text of the 'Outbursts' section appears below. This may be modified from time to time in the light of comments. So if you are supportive of revived traditional Cornish and the Kernowek Standard spelling system, please let us know in the event you find any errors or think something might be improved.

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Last updated: 11 April 2024 (16:00)


The main part of the dictionary contains only a few short interjections like now and wèl, along with words for ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Here is a broad array of words and phrases that will make conversation more lively, and which invite an exclamation mark. Singular you-forms (familiar) are given throughout, except where only a plural / polite form exists. Plural / polite forms can often be substituted: e.g. by changing dhis to dhywgh or dhe why or by changing from a singular to a plural imperative.

Hello and goodbye

bennath Duw genes pronounced benatuw genes

hello! goodbye!

bys wharê

I’ll be back!

dëdh dâ

hello! (from about 11:00 till about 18:00)

deus ajy

come in!

dha weles

so long! see you!

dohajëdh dâ

good afternoon! (from midday till about 18:00)

Dùrdadhe why

how do you do?

Dùrnostadha ‖ 

good night!

Duw genes



all the best!

gordhuwher dâ

good evening! (from about 18:00)

hail dhis

hello! hi [there]!

lowena dhis

hi [there]!

myttyn dâ

good morning! (till about 10:00)

nos dâ

good night!



Good wishes

Bledhen Nowyth dâ

Happy New Year!

fortyn dâ

good luck!

god spêda dhis

all the best!

Nadelyk lowen

Merry Christmas!

pedn bloodh lowen [ha meur anodhans]

happy birthday! many happy returns [of the day]!


all the best!

Being courteous

gav dhybm

excuse me! (interrupting, going past)

me a’m beus oll an blam

[it’s] my fault entirely!

ny vedham mynysen

I shan’t (won’t) be a moment!

y praydha (y praya)

excuse me? (preface to question / request, also when sth not understood) 

Getting attention


hey! (remonstrating)


hey! (hailing sb)


hello! (surprise, also answering telephone)



In good company





clôw clôw

hear hear!

Kernow bys vycken

Cornwall for ever!

oyeth or

listen! (when making announcement)

tergweyth hùrâ rag ...

three cheers for ...!

yêhes dâ dhis / dhyn

cheers! (toast) 

With the young (and not so young)





cùsk cosel

sleep tight! sweet dreams!


ow! ouch!

myàm myàm

yum yum! yummy!

myny myny (chùg chùg)

come along now!

sa’ sa’ 

there there!

thùck (yùck)

yuck! ugh!




hush! ssshh!

I’m the boss


get lost!

bëdh war

careful! look out!


watch out!

deus [rag]

come on!

dhe’n dor gans ...

down with ...!

gas cres

cut it out!

gas dha son 

stop your noise!

gas ev in y wres y honen 

let him stew!

gwella dha jer

cheer up!

gwra derivas dhybm 

let me know!

gwra kestedna dha honen

pull yourself together!


fetch! (to dog)


here boy! (to dog)

in mes genes

get out! 

in sol

up you get!

kê wàr dha gàm

steady on! don’t overdo it!

kebmer with

take care!

kebmer with a’n stap!

mind the step!

kep kep kep

giddy up! (to horse)

na wra vry orto

take no notice [of him]!

otta dha shara

that’s your lot!


get along there! (to animal)

pùbonen ragtho y honen

every man for himself!

sav in nes

stay where you are!

sens dha glap

shut up! stow it!

tàn hebma

take this! hold this!

tycky tycky

come and get it! (when food is ready)

voyd a’m syght

out of my sight!

wàr yêw 

let's get on with it!

Making a point

col orthyf

mark my words!

jevody (jevojy)

I’m telling you!

re’m leouta (re’m leawta)


Reacting to people and events

The social conventions that originally governed what Cornish expressions were appropriate in what contexts can no longer be reconstructed. They would not accord with modern values. ‘Strong language’ in English now likes to exploit taboos about excrement and sexual activity. Traditional Cornish drew rather upon shared Catholic beliefs, universal horror of the plague (after the Black Death), and fascination with the hangman’s noose. The Revival may eventually establish conventions of its own.

â gen da whedhlow

get away [with you]!

abarth an pla pronounced barthanpla ‖

damn! blast!


excellent! super!


oh! (disapproving)



an den truan

poor devil!

an gwir a leverta

you’re right!

an milyk truan

poor thing! the poor darling!

ass osta dâ

that’s good of you! how kind of you!

ass yw dieth

what a pity! what a shame!

ass yw dyflas

[that’s] disgusting!

ass yw mothow

what a disaster! what a fiasco!

ass yw omgyjor

what a wanker!

ass yw scogyn

what an idiot!



besias saym


brabm an gath



wonderful! splendid!

bÿth na lavar a’n dra

don’t mention it!

bÿth ny vednen

no way! (refusal)

cabmen vëth

not in the least! not in the slightest!

cales lùck

hard luck!

camdybys osta

you’re wrong!



cudyn vëth

no problem!

dâ aqwytys osta

[it] serves you right!

dâ lowr

OK! okay!

dar what! why! well! I say!

Often followed immediately by negative question (without interrogative particle): e.g. Dar, ny wosta? What! Don’t you know?

dhe’th cregy

damn you!

do way

now now! lay off!

drocka loos

what a pain!

drog yw genama

[I'm] sorry!

dyowlyk bian ywa

the little devil! the rascal!

eâ mar pleg / na vadnam, gromercy dhis

yes please! / no thank you!

eâ, mar teffen ha cafos an chauns

chance would be a fine thing!

ellas (elhas)

alas! oh dear!


heigh ho!

er y wu

worse luck!

fatell esta ow lavasos

how dare you!

faven gog

not a dicky-bird! not a sausage!

flows ha whedhlow

stuff and nonsense!





gas dha flows

don’t talk rubbish!

ges a wres

you’re joking!

god chauns re’th fo

good luck to you!

gool ha gwary

fun and games!

gwir poran

quite right!

gwir yn tien

spot on!


that was lucky!


heb mar na ma’s

no buts!

hedna a gòst dhis

you’ll pay for that!

hèn yw onen dâ

that’s rich!

horssen plos

son of a bitch!

in lagas dha din

up yours!



kewar yn tien

exactly! precisely!

kyj an air

go play with yourself!

lowena re’th fo ganso

good luck with it!

ma va owth hegasa ow dens

he really gets up my nose!

malbew dabm ny’n gwrêta

oh no you don’t!

malbew devnyth

that’s no use!

malbew jauns

fat chance [of that]!

malbew onen

not [a single] one!

mewl yw hedna dhe’m breus avy

I call that a disgrace!

na fors

never mind!

na le

no less!

ny amownt màn

it’s no use!

ny’n jeves chauns canary

he hasn’t a bat’s chance in hell!

ny rov oy

I couldn’t care less!

ny woram malbew dabm

blowed if I know!

nyns yw marth

no wonder!


oh! (realization, surprise)

ober dâ

well done! proper job!


oh! (emotion)



owt warnas

blast you! confound you!

pandra vern?

so what?

pandr’yw hedna dhyso?

mind your own business!

pëth adhevîs

just the thing!

pòr dhâ, sos

way to go!

prat plos a wrusta

that’s a dirty trick [to play]!

re’th fo crog

get knotted! take a running jump!

re’m pât

I say!

ria reva

amazing! incredible! unbelievable!


fine! splendid!

ren ow thas

gosh! wow!


bad luck! more’s the pity!


brilliant! splendid! 

te a ol hedna 

you’ll be sorry!

te a worr whans wheja inam

you make me sick!

te javal

you scoundrel!

tety valy

tut tut! fiddlesticks!

th’eroma i’n nevow

I’m over the moon!


that’s a pity!

tybyans dâ

good thinking! good idea!

yn tien


Here are some exclamations based specifically on religious or spiritual ideas.

a Dhuw

oh dear!

a Dhuw ker

dear God!

abarth Duw pronounced [a]bartuw

for God’s / Christ’s / pity’s sake!



bennath Duw pronounced benatuw ‖

bless you! (to sneezer)

cres dh’y ena

God rest his / her soul! (when referring to deceased)

crows Crist[, painys trist]

cross my heart [and hope to die]!

dh’y lawa

praise be!

Dùrsona dhis

God bless!

Duw dyfen

God forbid!

grass e dhe Dhuw

thank God!

iffarn tan

bloody hell!

in iffarnow heb gow

bloody hell!

kê dhe’n jowl genes 

go to hell!

lowr yw dhe brevy perthyans Job

it’s enough to try the patience of a saint!

mollath Duw pronounced mollatuw ‖

damn! blast!

re Dhuw a’m ros


re’m fay

gosh! wow!

re Synt Defry

I’m not joking!

re Varia (ria [sos])

gosh! wow!

re Vyhal

gosh! wow!

re’n ebron dhâ

good heavens! heavens above!

wàr ow enef

dear[y] me!