1. Confuse us with Devon
I hate to disappoint, but Cornwall and Devon are two separate counties in the South West of England. You have to drive through, fly over, or trundle across Devon on a train in order to get to Cornwall.
Devon thinks it invented the pasty; it didn’t. Devon thinks it knows how to make the perfect cream tea; it doesn’t. Devon thinks it is better than Cornwall; it isn’t.
2. Refuse to hedge your new and huge car on our country lanes
Cornwall is full of windy, not-enough-space-for-two-cars roads. Learning to drive in Cornwall makes us masters of reversing up hills and around tight, blind corners. We are used to driving half-way up a hedge just so someone can get by. And if we have to suffer some scratches in the paint job to do it, we don’t bat an eyelid.
Your new BMW cannot and will not fit unless you’re willing to go in the hedge. In fact, why don’t you just use the main road and let the locals go off-piste? By faffing and refusing to “hedge-it,” you make us late for work, plus you don’t enjoy your holiday because you keep getting called an “effing emmit” by screaming locals. The A30 is there for a reason, use it.
3. Order a Strongbow
The Cornish are well-known for their love of cider. And rightly so. Our local brews are crisp, cloudy, and strong. Not only do we enjoy a good ol’ knees up and a day spent sipping on the good stuff at the beach, but we appreciate it. We know what tastes good and we know that cider made in-county is pretty damn great. When you come to Cornwall and order a cider, you’re expected to pick a pint of Rattler, a bottle of Cornish Orchard, or even a glass of hangover-inducing Scrumpy. Not Strongbow or “Wrongbow” as it’s been dubbed down ‘ere. Respect where you are, please.
4. Ask us who we know in Newquay
No, I don’t know that bloke you bumped into in Sailors when you were three shots into the jager-train. Cornwall is huge and Newquay is just one small town in our vast expanse of staggering countryside. Newquay is usually inhabited by stags, hens, and underage drinkers throwing up in gutters. Most of the locals won’t step foot there until winter or when they’re going for a surf.
5. Buy a second home, and then never visit it
Yes, the tourist industry is important to us — Cornwall pretty much closes down for 6 months of the year — but your second home in that quaint Cornwall village that you can’t even pronounce (it’s Mowzel not Mouse-Hole, FYI) is making housing prices for locals skyrocket. Twin that with some of the lowest wages in the country, and you have a generation of people who have no hope of ever moving out of the spare room at their parents’ place.
In the last 12 years, average housing prices have gone from £53,700 to £210,300 — that’s more than eight times the income of the average Cornish man or maid.
6. Talk to us about how great Ginsters pasties are
Now we know you northerners love Ginsters, but seriously, come down and try yourself a proper Philps pasty and you’ll change your mind. Ginsters is just bad — too peppery, mass produced, ingredients all mushed together like baby food, plus the pastry is soggy like it’s been microwaved. A proper Cornish pasty is handmade with love and is filled with fat chunks of meat and potato.
We are proud of our pasties because they are deeply rooted in our agricultural and mining heritage, and date back as far as the 13th century. When the Cornish mining industry was booming, a pasty was the choice of packed lunch for anyone going underground. Miners could use the pasty crust as a handle to prevent poisoning themselves with mine-grub, and the pastry could house both the traditional pasty we know and love today in one half and dessert in the other. When we see someone walking around with a Gingsters, we consider it blasphemy because, well, they taste like crap.
7. Put the cream on BEFORE the jam when having a cream tea
While we’re on the subject of food, if you have a cream tea that way you may as well go back up north to Devon. The Cornish cream tea is assembled by sense — the jam goes on the bottom so that the decadently thick Cornish Clotted Cream can stick to the scone without running off and making a right old mess of your chin. You’ll learn your lesson if you do it the Devon way. Science, bitch!
8. Attempt our accent
Really, we don’t sound like that. You’re actually speaking like someone from Bristol, which is a 4-hour drive from Land’s End, so stop it.
9. Misinterpret our Cornish slang
If someone says “Alright?” to you in the street, there is really only one correct answer: “Yeah, you?” This isn’t a vested interest in how you’re feeling or how your family is doing, we’re just saying hello and opening up a short conversation. You can tell us about your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s new baby at a later date. And just for the record:
“Wasson shag?” Means: “Hello, how are you?” So does: “Alright arr ee?”
“‘Ee’s teasy as’n adder.” Means someone probably had too much cider last night, best avoided.
“Giss on!” Means that you should stop talking rubbish.
And “Dreckly” means that you’ll do that, or be there, or get in contact at some point in the future — maybe tomorrow, maybe next year.