Tre, Pol and Pen

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The phrase Tre, Pol and Pen is used to describe people from or places in Cornwall, UK. The full rhyming couplet runs: By Tre Pol and Pen / Shall ye know all Cornishmen,[1][2] a version of which was recorded by Richard Carew in his Survey of Cornwall, published in 1602.[3] Many Cornish surnames and place names still retain these words as prefixes, such as the surname Trelawny and the village Polzeath. Tre in the Cornish language means a settlement or homestead; Pol, a pond, lake or well; and Pen (also Welsh and Cumbric), a hill or headland. Cornish surnames and placenames are generally pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable.[4]

Examples in Cornish surnames[edit]

Examples in Cornish places[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tre, Pol and Pen - The Cornish Family by Bernard Deacon
  2. ^ Cornish surnames - By Tre, Pol and Pen shall ye know all Cornishmen
  3. ^ Richard Carew, The Survey of Cornwall (Page 48)
  4. ^ Words & Phrases, West Penwith