Emmet (Cornish)

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Emmet (alt. spellings emmit or emit) is a pejorative nickname that some Cornish people use to refer to the non-Cornish. It originally referred to tourists who visit Cornwall but has also been used by native Cornish folk to refer to "incomers" or residents who have moved to the county but were not born there.


It is commonly thought to be derived from the Cornish-language word for ant, being an analogy to the way in which both tourists and ants are often red in colour and appear to mill around. However the use of 'emmet' to mean ants is actually from the Cornish dialect of English and is derived from the Old English word æmete from which the modern English word ant, is also derived (compare Modern German Ameise [ant]). The Cornish word for ant is actually moryon (pl. moryonen) [1][2][3]

Porthemmet Beach hoax[edit]

In August 2007, Truro-born Jonty Haywood began promoting the fictional Porthemmet (Port of Emmet) beach in North Cornwall with fake road signs and a hoax website, confusing tourists and amusing locals.[4][5][6] In July 2008, Haywood placed a further set of signs.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ An English-Cornish And Cornish-English Dictionary - R. Morton Nance (1955)
  2. ^ Gerlyvrik/Mini-Dictionary - Kesva An Taves Kernewek (2005)
  3. ^ K. C. Phillipps (1993). A Glossary of the Cornish Dialect. pp. 29, 42. ISBN 0-907018-91-2.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Britain's "only topless beach" doesn't exist". The Inquirer. Retrieved 11 August 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Milmo, Cahal (2007-09-27). "Wish you were here? Website lures tourists to imaginary beach". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2007-09-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ de Bruxelles, Simon (2007-09-27). "Beach hoax sends tourists on a road to nowhere". The Times. London. Retrieved 2007-09-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Tourist trap: A sign of the times..." Cornish Guardian. Archived from the original on 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2008-07-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)