Unusual Cornish Baby Names
Why Not Choose a Cornish Name for Your Baby?
Choosing the Right Name For Your Baby
Forget choosing the right obstetrician, the right diet, or the right pain relief. What perplexed my husband and me during my pregnancy was the right name for the baby. I know the importance of a name; I very much dislike mine and don't really know what my parents were thinking. So, I was determined that my baby would get the right name. Fortunately, as she has grown up, she seems happy with it.
Our criteria for the name was that it should be recognisable as a traditional name, should be easy to pronounce, wouldn't embarrass our child and had some cultural and personal significance to us. It also needed to be relatively uncommon, but not plain weird. We seem to have got it right.
If you have a connection with Cornwall, whether through your heritage or fond holiday memories, you have an advantage in choosing a name. Many of these Cornish names are recognisable, have a great cultural feel to them and manage to be unusual without being outlandish. Here are a few of my top ideas.
Demelza: A Beautiful Cornish Name
Cornish Names for Baby Girls
Is your baby girl a little flower? This is the ideal name, meaning "daisy".
Demelza is a village on the outskirts of Bodmin. The name is instantly recognisable as Cornish thanks to the Winston Graham Poldark novels. The heroine of the novels is Demelza Carne, later Poldark, played by the beautiful Angarhad Rees in the BBC television series.
Perfect for spring babies, Ebrel means "April" in Cornish.
I think this is a beautiful name; it means "elm".
The Cornish spelling of the popular name.
A pretty Cornish version of Jane.
This is literally a lovely name - it means "love" or the "beloved one". It has become quite a popular name in Cornwall.
A beautiful name, named after a beautiful place. Lamorna Cove is in West Cornwall and has proved the inspiration for many artists. It was popular with the artists of the Newlyn School, is immortalised in a popular folk song, a poem and a couple of novels.
Although Loveday is a medieval English name, its use appears to have become confined to Cornwall in later centuries.
A name for happy baby girls! Lowenna means "joyful".
For blonde babies - Mellyn means "yellow-haired".
This is an ancient Cornish saint's name. St Morwenna was a Welsh princess who travelled to Cornwall, settling at Morwenstow. The name Morwenna is Cornish for sea (Mor) maiden/white (wenna).
The Cornish version of Rose - pronounce it ROZZ-en.
Not strictly a Cornish name, but has definitely been associated with the County. It is a shortened form of the Thomasina.
Tegen (THE -gen) is the Cornish for "pretty thing".
The Cornish Name Lamorna
The Cornish Language
- is an ancient Celtic language, like Welsh and Breton.
- it was a common community language until the 18th Century and spoken in homes up to the late 19th Century.
- a revival movement started in the early 20th Century
- is a recognised minority language in the United Kingdom.
Kenwyn: A Cornish Name for a Boy
Cornish Names for Baby Boys
Not just a barbarian, but a legendary King of Cornwall and a bishop of Truro. Derived from the Celtic "great" or "high".
Although this name is used in the US, meaning "wild one", it has a long usage in the UK where its origin is different. Here it is derived from a Cornish place name.
Often a surname, but also a forename. It is the Cornish version of Jacob.
The Cornish version of John.
Kenwyn is a village on the outskirts of Truro, as well as the river that flows through it. The name itself means "splendid chief".
Kevern was a Cornish saint. The village of St Keverne is located on the Lizard peninsula in the far west of the County.
This is a Cornish nickname for Christopher.
Good for Easter babies - it means "easter". A fairly common surname (Pascoe), which was popular as a forename up until the mid 18th Century. Due for a revival?
St. Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall. He was an Irishman who travelled to Cornwall on a millstone. Unusual, but not unheard of, in Cornwall.
An early Cornish bishop and saint - St Rewan of Ruan Lanihorne.
This name derives from the Cornish for "forehead".
Taken from the name of a village in East Cornwall. Also found as a surname.
Famed for the legend of Tristan and Eseld (Isolde), Tristan was the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall. A popular name in Cornwall.
Tristan and Isolde
Cornish Names for Boys or Girls
This a place name, the ancient name for the large island that has since become the Isles of Scilly. It is a often found as a surname too.
A saint's name, now a place name. St Merryn is on the north Cornwall coast, near Padstow.
Veryan is a parish on the Roseland peninsula. The name Verran may mean "little one".
A particularly wild and remote village in West Cornwall. There is a local legend, the Mermaid of Zennor.