Nyns eus goon heb lagas, na ke heb scovarn

There is no down without an eye, nor hedge without an ear


Roundup readers have written in their thousands asking whether there are any more recordings of conversations between Madron Polglaze and his friend Denzil Batten.

The Roundup is pleased to report that we have many such recordings. They form part of our Cornish Conversation Series, which is aimed at providing a gentle introduction to light- to medium-broad Cornish for non-Cornish folk, or "Emmets"  such as Mr K. Hecka of Canada.

We have to point out that "seriously broad" Cornish is highly resistant to written representation and may only, if at all, be made available at a much later stage to advanced students.

The following conversation occurred, between Denzil and Madron, when they met yesterday at the top of Causewayhead in Penzance.

Madron: Yeow! Awright boy?  Good Afternoon! Is all well with you?

Denzil: Es yo! Doinproper -- you duh knaw 'ow ee duh gaw! You awrightaree?  Yes, indeed!  I am fine, you know how it is. Is all well with you?

Madron: Es, I jes bin up my sister’s fer nice bitta roast seagull. She duh av’en every year; 's like tradition wi we.  Min’ you, issa different one evry year like.  Oh, yes, I have just come from my sister’s, where we have enjoyed a succulent capon.  It is something of a family tradition.  She prepares it every year - of course -- a different one each time.

Denzil: Course ee is, inna? Neow, New Year’s nearly 'ere. Wassa big predictions fer nex year from all yer sea-weed readins’?  But, of course!  Now as the New Year is upon us, could you let me into your big predictions for the New Year from all the research you’ve been doing?

Madron: Well, I kent tell ee too much. As you duh knaw, I’m under contract to they big firms up country [Truro, ED] to tell un all the big events in advance. If you duh promise not to tell no-one, I’ll let ee knaw one bitta big news fer nex' year.  Well, I can’t reveal too much. As you know, I am under exclusive contract to supply market intelligence to certain firms in the City. However, if you promise to keep strict silence, I will share one item of commercial intelligence with you.

Denzil (drawing closer, with a conspiratorial gleam in his eye): I wain’t breathe a word to no one.  My lips shall remain sealed.

Madron: Right on. This is 'ush 'ush neow. I’ave eard that Simpsons of Penzance is goin' to take over Harrods from wassacall - that Ayrab Allfired up London.  Very well.  This is strictly confidential. It has come to my ears that Simpson’s of Penzance is buying out Harrods from Mohamed Al Fayed.

Denzil: Gwon -- ee idn never, izza?  Surely not? That cannot be the case, can it?

Madron: Es, ee is too. The 'ole shop is goin to be moved t’ Tremethick Cross. I'll be sum game upair, boy!  But, oh yes! The shop is to be relocated to Tremethick Cross, which will become a real hive of activity.

Denzil: Well I never wuz! Neow, 's good thing I bumped into ee - I knawed there was sumthin else I wanted to ask ee. Wassall this 'ere talk o' QE on the radio? Wassonallaboutuh?  What a surprise!  Now I am very glad that I have run into you as there was another matter I wished to consult you on. I have heard the term "QE" on the radio a lot. What exactly does it mean?

Madron (assuming magisterial tone): Right on Cap’n, I’ll tell ee. The financial system ’ave got all bunged up, see? 'S like when ee kent go toilet fer a few days. What you duh need then is a proper dose 'o openin medsin. Tha’s pzackly what duh 'appen with the financial system. The bugger duh git bunged up like and the government duh gibben a good dose o' openin' medsin. They duh call that "quantitive easing" to make 'n all flow again. Neow, "QE" 's short fer "quantitive easing".  Yes indeed, I can help you there. Our financial system has simply seized up. In point of fact, the condition can be likened to that of someone who has become constipated.  In such cases, an effective laxative is what is required. The same thing applies to the financial system -- it seizes up and the government applies a strong laxative in the form of quantitative easing to release pent up funds. "QE" is simply the acronym for "quantitative easing".

Denzil: O 'es! If they duh 'ave to do un again, I spose they'll call un QE2, wain’t they?  I see now. And if they have to do it again, I presume that they will call it QE2, will they not?

Madron (laughing in his trademark neighing high pitched whine): "Es, es, es, boy! They’ll ave ee on Penwith Radio 'fore too long, 'f you duh keep telling they jokes like gat!  Oh Bravo! You may well find yourself on a Radio 4 comedy spot, if you produce jokes of that calibre.

Denzil: O dammee! Zat the time?! I was sposed to be over my Enty’s fer 2 clock. Gotta git down Greenmarket to catch the bus - so I’ll see ee gen boy!  My Goodness!  Is that the time? I am due at my Aunt’s house at 2 o’ clock today. I must scoot off to collect the beamer from the car park and get going!  A bientot!

Madron:  Right on. See ee gen dreckly!  Yes, of course! Cheerio until the next time!


Many non-Cornish folk find it difficult to understand Cornish people talking amongst themselves, particularly, when "broad Cornish" is being spoken. This tuition series is intended to provide a gentle introduction to light- to medium-broad Cornish for non-Cornish folk, or "Emmets".  It will be noted that it is impossible to provide guidance in respect of very broad Cornish.

The following conversation between two Cornishmen, Madron and Denzil, was recorded recently in Penlee Park and is presented here with a standard English equivalent.

Madron: Yeow!  Good Afternoon!

Denzil: Yeow, boy! Why, good afternoon to you too!

Madron: 'Erdee gotta dog, boy. I have heard that you have acquired a dog.

Denzil: Es, yo! Sumscampyis! Yes, a right little character he is as well.

Madron: Where's ee to, uh? Eatenavee? Where is he then? I trust that you have not eaten him.

Denzil:  Naw, I bleddy ebben an 'ee idn 'idin neether. No, I most certainly have not and he is not hiding!
Madron:  Idnee?  I kent see ov un! Isn't he?  I cannot espy him anywhere.

Denzil:  Pzackly! Ee idn ere, izza? Exactly!  He is not here.

Madron: Well, Wherzee to uh? Well then, where is he?

Denzil: 'zonly two week ole. Up ome,
inna?  Wheree duh blong. He is only two weeks old and so he is at home where he should be.
Madron: O 'es! Up ome wimissus?  Ah, I see. He is at home with your wife.

Denzil: Naw, ee bleddy idn. She upanleff we las month. Livin up Scorrier neow inna mobilome. Our boy Trev is ome from Borstal and ee's lookinafterovun fer we. No, I fear that is not the case. My wife left me last month and is now residing in a caravan in Scorrier. Our son, Trevor, is home from private school and he is taking  care of the dog for me.

Madron: O ell, gotta bleddy dash neow! If I doan turnup job centre gen, they buggers'll bleddy stop my giro! See ee gen boy! Goodness, look at the time! I must shoot off now or I'll miss my appointment with the bank manager and then my finances will get in a mess. Toodle pip!

Denzil: Es, yo! Proper! See ee dreckly! Right you are! I quite understand. See you anon!