Travel guide to pronounce Cornwall towns and villages
There may be a mistaken view outside of Cornwall that we hate tourists here.
As long as you are kind to us, learn to drive on our narrow roads and don’t decide to buy a second home after your vacation, then we love to take you … sorry … vacationers.
Have you ever wondered how to pronounce Mousehole, Delabole, Trewoon, Doublebois, Launceston, Hewaswater and other towns and villages the Cornish way?
Read more: Brutal reviews of Cornish places people can’t pronounce
In an effort to make your trip to Cornwall even more enjoyable and to stop the giggles of locals when you stop to ask for directions to Foe-ee, here is CornwallLive’s guide on how to pronounce some of the place names that leave visitors scratch their heads.
The old chestnut tree. No it’s not a mouse hole but Mowzle said with your best Cornish fisherman accent.
I once persuaded a young colleague from the hinterland that this village was pronounced De La Bolé as if it were the very center of French sophistication. It’s actually Dellerbowl.
Some say Tre-woon, others say Tre-win for this village near St Austell. It should actually be pronounced Troon, not to be confused with Camborne’s real Troon.
Not French for two woods, double woods, but Doubleboys.
If you’re a true Cornish, it’s not Launston or, worse, Lawn-sess-ton, but Lanson, with an emphasis on aaaaaa.
Not He-woz-water but Hugh’ass-water.
Bideford is Bidderford so Tideford is Tidderford, right? Wrong. It’s Tide-ford.
Do not take back all the Gallic. It’s not Breash or even Brague, but Breeg.
Surely there is only one way to pronounce the city? It’s Saint Ostell, not Saint Ore-stell. Better yet, call it Ozzle like the locals.
The Iron Age hill fort near Penzance is not pronounced Chun but Tune.
Another favorite. Faith as in hoi polloi.
You can always tell a visitor when they say Pole-zeeth. It’s Pol-zeth.
Sands of Praa
A controversial subject. No one knows the definitive answer. I say potato you say potarto, I say Prar Sands you say Pray Sands.
You would think that no one could mispronounce Liss-card. But we heard Lis-keer-d.
Like Polzeath, it’s Ty-w’dreth not Ty-ward-reeth.
Again, surely you can’t mispronounce the capital? It’s Tr’row not True-row. If you are a true Truronian, you pronounce it Tr’ra.
It doesn’t have a high accent on the e, so it’s not pronounced like in Ferrero Rocher, just roach like in the cockroach, which is no small feat in the village of Clay Country. It’s not Rosh either.
The village near Callington doesn’t sound like St Ives without the e. It is the Holy Eve.
Not ma-razzion, but Marra-zion.
It’s amazing how many people say Iller-gn. It’s I-luggan.
This place can confuse visitors to Falmouth. It is Main Porth and not Mine Porth.
Another area of Falmouth to confuse – these are Tresco-bays like in a port of Scilly, not Tress-co-bay-as or even Tresco-bees.
And another Falmouth tongue twister – Dra-seen-a.
It’s a hard ‘s’ so Trez-illian not Tress-illian as my mother-in-law pronounces it even though she lives there.
Likewise, Meva-gizzey not gissey. Although it suffices to call her Meva.
For some strange reason, a lot of people say Lux-illian. There is an ‘u’ in it – Lux-ullian.
Not Zeller, but Zeeler.
The estate and the beach near the Roseland Peninsula are pronounced Car-haze and not Care-haze.
No, not curry but curry like in Marie Curie. And the famous Cury Hunt doesn’t rhyme with slang either …
It’s Porth-leven, people, not Port-leven. It’s amazing how many people are saying that.
Perran-ooth-no or Perran-uth-no? The jury is in our office. Fair enough though.
You might think the village near Looe is pronounced Pell-int, but you’d be wrong. Plint, innit.
Not D’vor-an or Dev-oh-ran but the more Cornish, Devrun.
A version of this article was originally published in 2019.
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