In the weeks surrounding the release of The Nature of a Lady, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some words that appear in the book. We’re going to start by looking at a few of the Cornish slang words that make an appearance. =)
And given that my heroine is a young lady from the Somerset area, coming to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for a holiday (or to escape a match she despised the thought of, as the case may be), this first one certainly comes up. If you’ve ever visited the Cornwall area, you may have heard the word incomer tossed around. It’s local slang for “tourists.” Apparently, there is also a term for the same, emmet, taken from the name of a swarming ant, which these days is used for summer tourists, and incomer is reserved today for those who move into the area permanently but aren’t born there. I’m not sure if the same distinction existed in 1906, the time of my story, but I use incomer because it’s easy to understand. =)
The etymology of incomer isn’t hard to decipher–they’re literally people coming in to the area. But I love that they have their own word for it, and it appears throughout my series. Sometimes it’s spoken with fondness, sometimes with exasperation. The Isles of Scilly rely largely on tourism for their living by the point of my story…but that doesn’t mean that the holiday-goers don’t occasionally make the locals mutter “Incomers!” under their breath.
In The Nature of a Lady, my heroine quickly falls in love with the isles, and she’s different enough from most tourists that the locals soon love her. One of the themes of my book comes from something my hero’s grandmother says. She says that there are those born on the islands, those who visit, those who move there. But you’ll only stay forever if “the islands know your name.”
Is there a place that seems to “know your name,” where you feel as though you truly belong?