It’s called what? Weird and wonderful place names in Cornwall

They’re baffling, hilarious and just a little bit rude!

The naughty ones

Brown Willy

This hill on Bodmin Moor gets more than a few giggles but the meaning of the name Brown Willy is actually quite romantic sounding for it is based on the Cornish ‘Bronn Wennill’ which means ‘hill of swallows’. At 420m above sea level Brown Willy is the highest point in Cornwall and attracts a hefty quota of hikers who scale it for incredible 360 degree views reaching to both the north and south Cornish coasts.


Ummm, yes, we kid you not, there’s an actual place called Cocks! As in a male bird? Who knows but whatever the meaning behind the name the road signs to this small parish, not far from Perranporth, are pure social media gold and attract no end of cheeky passers-by who stop for a mischievous mug shot!

Booby’s Bay

Hush those childish giggles, Booby’s Bay near Padstow actually takes its name from the ‘Booby’ seabird which can be seen in the area. Sorry to spoil your fun! Name aside and the wide, sandy beach is the place to go for a spot of rock pooling and is well known for the shipwreck remains that lie amongst the sand. Just don’t go at high tide, the whole beach pretty much disappears!

The tongue twister ones


Ever been to Tingle Tangle Castle? No, us neither! We’ve lost count of the number of ways that we’ve heard this north coast village pronounced!


Derived from the name of two Cornish saints, Meva and St Issey, this south coast fishing village has got many heads scratching but break it down and the pronunciation is easy peasy; mev-a-giss-ee. You’ve got it!

The tricky to pronounce ones


Call this pretty fishing village in west Cornwall Mouse-hole and prepare for a round of sniggers. Yes, we know that its name comes from the small gap in the harbour wall that looks like a mouse hole but it’s actually pronounced Mowzel. Clear as mud?


Ask for directions to Fow-wee and at the very least you’ll be met with baffled expressions (or more likely, laughed out of town!). It’s Foy.


How you pronounce the name of Cornwall’s old capital is a pretty good indicator of whether you’re a local or visitor. Yes, Lawn-stun won’t raise eyebrows but the ‘proper’ Cornish way is Larn-sern.

The namesake ones


You wont find La Ramblas or the Nou Camp in Cornwall’s take on Barcelona but you will find a beautiful hamlet sandwiched between Looe and Polperro.


Thought Sheffield was all steel and big buildings? In west Cornwall it’s sea air and glorious views.


Head east from Newquay and you’ll find the hamlet of Brighton – it might not be quite as well known as its more famous namesake but we reckon it's head and shoulders above! Biased? Us?



We just couldn’t leave this one out because it’s oh so cute. Thought that Minions were the lovable, yellow things off the movies? Well, actually a village on Bodmin Moor bagsied the name first.

Things to do

Stay connected

Find us on socials and stay connected with the Cornwall you love.

We use cookies to personalise content and ads and to analyse our traffic. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. (Privacy Policy)