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Joan the Wad


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A Cornish name for a Will-o'-the-Wisp, originally limited to the area round Polperro, where it was noted by Jonathan Crouch in his history of the town; ‘wad’ is a dialect word for a torch. Besides leading people astray with her light, she sometimes tickled and pinched them, so Crouch classified her as a pixy. A rhyme invoked her aid:Jack o'the lantern! Joan the wad,Who tickled the maid and made her mad!Light me home, the weather's bad.


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