Cannevi / Jèrriais

Cannabis in Jersey French

The Jèrriais word for cannabis, from which this website takes it's name, is cannevi. [1]

Jersey Cannabis Place Names

The historian George Balleine has suggested that the name of Les Quennevais (La Vîngtaine des Tchennevais) may be derived from the Jèrriais word for a hemp field – cannevière / chenevière. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

While we cannot be certain of the connection of Les Quennevais to hemp farming, there are a number of place names in the Island that clearly refer to cannabis: [8]

A lane in St John named Le Canibut is likely to have derived from the word cannibotte, meaning dried hemp stalks. [9]

There is also Maison La Corderie on Rope Walk in St Helier, which is the former site of one of several rope walks in the Island established in the 19th century to support the local shipbuilding industry with the manufacture of hemp ropes. [10, 11]

Jersey Cannabis Surnames

Although other derivations have been suggested, it seems likely that the Jersey surname of Canivet derives from the Guernésiais word for cannabis – cannivet. [12]

The surname of Roissier is suggested to have derived from the French word roussir / rouir, "meaning to char or brown hemp for rope making and the surname is believed to have come either from a place where this work was undertaken or to have been given to someone undertaking the work". [13]


  1. [1] "Du Cannevi". SoundCloud.
  2. [2] "Les Quennevais - Meaning of name". Jerripedia.
  3. [3] "Vingtaine des Quennevais". Wikipedia.
  4. [4] Moisy, H. Noms de Famille Normands - Étudiés dans leurs rapports avec la vielle langue et spécialement avec le dialecte Normand ancien et moderne. Paris, 1875, p.65.
  5. [5] "Jersey Place Names". Jerripedia.
  6. [6] Bois, G. J. C. Jersey Folklore & Superstitions Volume Two: A Comparative Study with the Traditions of the Gulf of St. Malo (The Channel Islands, Normandy & Brittany) with Reference to World Mythologies. AuthorHouse, 2010, p.462.
  7. [7] "Countryside Appraisal Report". States of Jersey, 2009.
  8. [8] "Jersey Place Names Database". Société Jersiaise.
  9. [9] "Du cannevi". L'Office du Jèrriais.
  10. [10] "Rope Walk". La Vingtaine de la Ville.
  11. [11] Stevens, J. and Bisson, P. "Maison du Mont". Société Jersiaise Bulletin, 1969.
  12. [12] Bonnard, B. The Wildflowers of Alderney. Alderney, 2008, p.149.
  13. [13] "Rouir". La langue française.