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On Sat, 23 May 1998, Nik Taylor wrote:
> Thanks! These are precisely what I was looking for (well, most of them)
> - culture-specific proverbs.
Okay, here're some Kernu proverbs and the like:
in samotems, poni-ty le mment al nduvotems.
In Summer, put thy thoughts towards Winter.
(In good times, keep the hard times in mind.)
in Mays yn moroken comedh' peryn mmabh facher.
Eat a dogfish in May to make a boy.
(Well, I guess that speaks for itself!)
il stans le San Agnes ys at il stans il plu bhoun le Kernow.
Saint Agnes tin is the best tin in Kernow.
(The phrase 'stans le San Agnes' is applied to anything of high quality.)
ay kes? ao o nay mech? si ay kes, feri kes;
si nay kes mech, feris que la ys!
Is there cheese? is there or not? if there is cheese, bring cheese;
if there is no cheese, bring whatever the is!
(Cheese (and fish and beer) are big favourites for the locals. This verse
is a frequent 'victim' of the tourist market, as it often ends up written
on little placards sold to foreign visitors.)
in nawn le prims, bes e 'mbrach;
in nawn le cerch, futur e lugh;
in nawn le ters, doferret aferret;
in nawn le cuart', do li y chornes ke l'omen aci ys ferret!
In the first year, kiss and hug;
In the second, lay and lug;
In the third year, taking and bringing;
In the fourth year, curse him who brought that man here!
(A bit of marriage wisdom.  'futur' is actually the word that means
"future", but is used as a near homophonous euphemism for 'futer', Kernu's
answer to the Four Letter Word.  lug, in this case, means tease or
play around with, possibly in a sexual way. Both English and Kernu
borrowed it from Scandinavian. Go figure.  There is no one word for
'curse' in Kernu; one all-purpose phrase is _doponer y chornes_, to put
the horns to someone. It is accompanied by a peculiar gesticulation
reminiscent of bull's horns being flicked. To the very superstitious,
this is an incredibly powerful curse.)
parli, mays ben parli; e parlar bech at il plu bhoun.
Speak, but speak well; & to speak little is the best.
wardi-ty la ndeu mbrach ngarrue.
Watch thy laden britches.
(Keep out of trouble; or Keep your pecker in your pants. This peculiar
phrase was of unknown provenance until it was found as part of a verse in
an old letter (1598):
wardi-ty la ndeu mbrach ngarrue, watch thy laden britches,
y theu or e hargent; and thy gold and silver;
in ndun Londrews y latren y whent; in London town the thieves they go;
y mhatrunilli promhonens, the whores go about,
henny cascun mhalets; in every filthy hole;
wardi-ty le ndeu ngalets! take care thy thingumy!)
> The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.