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The Cornish Pasty

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Talking pasties

The title of this page is a bit misleading, it is not about pasties that talk, it is about the language of pasty trading - Esperanto. It hev been used for other purposes, too, although it could be more widely known about - there are big events that use it.

27 Jul 2009 : In view of the fact that this page is entitled "Talking pasties", having come across this link:, I think it only fitting that it is included here, as it is literally "talking pasties" .....


I first encountered the pasty tongue through Mr Munro at the Boys Grammar School, Penzance, in about 1957/1958 (Mr Munro is introduced on HERE).

Esperanto (also HERE) is said to have been invented by Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof (1859-1917) in 1887 but there may be more to it than that. Grandfather said that the old boys used a special language when they were over to Mexico (trading for seedling pasty trees) and this could have been it.

Grandfather said he didn't know if it was a written language or not but perhaps it wasn't written down until about 1887 when a scholarly gentleman encountered it on a visit to Scilly or Cornwall, like they do with the local songs and such?

Mr Zamenhof's idea was create a universal language that would help with international peace and understanding - what better way than through sharing pasties, talking in a common tongue?

Micronations such as Scilly and Cornwall could do no better on the international trading stage than to embrace this language and its ethos in their dealings on their long gig trips. Do you think they spoke French/Breton to the Bretons in France when trading for brandy, or Spanish/Basque to the Basques when trading for their local speciality of sidra, or Patois to the Jamaicans when trading for rum and Mayan to the Yucatan people when trading for pasty trees? Somehow, I don't think so.

[The connection between Yucatan and the pasty tree is established on THIS electric web page]

Grandfather may have been right - they couldn't have learned all those languages, he never did. They probably used the international language for "talking pasty". After all, that was its purpose. Also, I believe there are some Scillonians who still know about it. Again, Scilly and Cornwall were ahead of the rest of Britain in free international trade (see HERE) - to the annoyance of the Excise men, again! 

Another piece of the pasty puzzle of the past falls into place?

Dankon kaj gis revido (in Esperanto)
(Thank you and goodbye)

You would have thought this would have been in the Cornish language, this being The Cornish Pasty web site!


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