Re: FW: FW: [canberrabirds] Something for a rainy day (2)

To: Martin Butterfield <>
Subject: Re: FW: FW: [canberrabirds] Something for a rainy day (2)
From: David Rees <>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 02:41:24 +0000
The Cornish and Welsh languages are closely related. 'Tre' in Welsh means town - from the word 'Dre'  Welsh has 'first letter mutation' which makes this happen, I will not explain that now - its complicated.  Meaning is the same in Cornish.

Cornwall is thus full of  'Welsh looking' place names for good reason, also there are plenty in Brittany in France, given Breton is another part of this language family.  Cornish people don't think of themselves as English to this day.  

There is some fascinating recent genetic work that appears to support many cultural beliefs of people in those parts of Britain that are not part of greater England - have a look at this published in Nature

Note how the Cornish and Devonians stand out different by these measures, from each other and the 'Greater English', also the difference between the North and South Welsh and between north and south Pembrokeshire and from the nearby 'English'. Also the diversity in Cumbria and Scotland.  These differences are reflected culturally to this day.  Interesting stuff.


On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 12:23 PM, Martin Butterfield <> wrote:
Interestingly when growing up in the UK a mnemonic used to be  "By Pol, Tre and Pen you will know Cornish men."  Is is thus really the case that Cornish pasty makers were Welshmen who got confused over which bank of the Severn to follow?

On 3 December 2017 at 12:18, Geoffrey Dabb <> wrote:

So there we are then.  Not that they are all that common there. Many a Welsh photographer has walked for hours along the golden beaches of Aberystwyth and come back at the end of the day without a single shot.


Incidentally Fraser/Gray does not mention the Welsh origin.



From: David Rees [
Sent: Sunday, 3 December 2017 10:39 AM
To: Philip Veerman; John Bundock; Geoffrey Dabb
Subject: Re: FW: [canberrabirds] Something for a rainy day (2)


Penguin _ Pen for head, Gwyn for white - the name was probably first used for the extinct Giant auk, which is many ways was an ecological analogue for southern Hemisphere penguins.


'Pen'  pops up in a few English place names, like the Pennines - a reminder that Welsh was spoken in these parts prior to its replacement by English.  Another classic is are the Three River Avons in England.  Afon is Welsh for river (no letter v in welsh).  So the typically culturally insensitive English came up with a name which means River River.  




On Sat, Dec 2, 2017 at 10:51 PM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

So, what is the answer?




From: John Bundock [mailto:m("","j.bundock");" target="_blank">.au]
Sent: Saturday, 2 December, 2017 7:55 PM
To: David Rees; Geoffrey Dabb
Cc: [m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">]
Subject: Re: FW: [canberrabirds] Something for a rainy day (2)


Same as David. Easy for the COG Welsh.


John Bundock 

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