Mowhay

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Carbilly
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Mowhay

Post by Carbilly » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:37 pm

I've seen a few holiday cottage adverts recently that translate the word 'Mowhay' (cottage / barn) as literally straight into the English 'hay-mow', a barn to store the hay
Now, as a cheeld we used to send all our summer holidays on my Grumpas' farm near St Agnes, and my grandparents always referred to the 'Mowhay' as being the yard area, not a building - anyone got any info (Marhak?) to clarify this for me?

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Marhak
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Marhak » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:42 am

Yes, it's the yard. I've only ever heard local farmers use it to describe the yard, never a building. The word is English but, in Cornwall, it's pronounced to rhyme with "Howie".

CJenkin
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Re: Mowhay

Post by CJenkin » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:30 pm

A side question has anyone come across Linhay before?

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Marhak
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Marhak » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:52 pm

Yes, it's an outhouse and pronounced "linny". Both are included in the lists of dialect words in 1990-1995 editions of 'Old Cornwall'. Mowhay is described as 'rick-yard'.

Kathlovenn
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Kathlovenn » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:02 pm

My guess is that "mow" means "stack" as in the barley mow. In English place names "hay" often means an enclosed area, in origin the same word as hedge, I think (I have none of my books to check these things). So that may be the origin of the "hay" in Mowhay. I wonder if the ending "hay" in Linhay is changed from something else, influenced by Mowhay?

Ben
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Ben » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:21 pm

MOWHAY & LINHAY

Hi, I haven’t posted here for a long while, but I’ve just found a reference to each of these words so here goes...

According to K C Phillipps in his ‘Westcountry Words and Ways’ (pub. David & Charles 1976) MOWHAY means stackyard and is pronounced in mid Cornwall to rhyme with boy: I don’t think I’ve heard the word spoken, so can’t comment on the pronunciation.

Sarah Hewett in her ‘The Peasant Speech of Devon’ (pub Elliot Stock 1892) lists LINHAY as an outbuilding, and gives a shelter for sheep as an example of use. I’ve heard this word spoken numerous times and always pronounced ‘linny’.

Neither book lists both words.

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Marhak
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Marhak » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:31 pm

You're right about 'hay', Kathlovenn. Cornish adopted the Middle English 'haye', from Old English (ge)haeg, 'enclosure', so you'll find it in names like Anhay (Gunwalloe; St Keverne) and Heamoor, Madron (also once Anhaye 1619), 'the enclosure'. I'm not sure where the 'lin-' comes from, though - I can't find it in my Dictionary of Middle English. Modern dictionaries don't seem to include either word.

CJenkin
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Re: Mowhay

Post by CJenkin » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:34 pm

I'd always assumed Mow came from mogh but it seems a bad assumption based on comments here. Is Mennay connected?

Carbilly
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Carbilly » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:34 pm

I'd always assumed Mow came from mogh but it seems a bad assumption based on comments here. Is Mennay connected?
Interesting replies. It's definitely pronounced to rhyme with 'wow', but never mentioned as a 'rick-yard'. Gran always used to complain about the pigs at night ''rattling the gate in the Mowee'', so I've always assumed it was the central yard on the farm.
Interesting if it does correspond to the Cornish for pig.
''Linney'' is still in common useage in mid-Cornwall, especially in the clay area, where the old clay drying sheds are still referred to as ''Linneys''.

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Marhak
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Marhak » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:00 pm

Mennay (Mennaye, Menehay) isn't connected. That's from 'menehy, menehi', meaning 'church-land'.

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Mark
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Re: Mowhay

Post by Mark » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:25 pm

The narrator in this radio play pronounces 'lin-hay' as the Cornish say it. About 40 seconds in.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTceNluphdY
As long as a hundred of us remain alive, we shall never give in to the domination of the English. We fight not for glory, not for wealth nor honours but only and alone for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life...

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