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A CFA's Guide to Newfoundland Sayings

A CFA's Guide to Newfoundland Slang |

I'm always reminded after spending some time off the island,hanging out with mainland folks that,even though I wasn't born and raised in Newfoundland,I sometimes still talk like I was.I don't have the accent – I prefer to call mine "Generic Maritime" – but I've picked up a lot of Newfoundland sayings and slang from my parents and my almost dozen years of living inSt.John's.

Phrases like "I'm rotted with the weather.It's some cold out,wha?" or "I'm after squatting my finger in the door"  make perfect sense to me but left some of my fellowWITSattendees scratching their heads.

One of the things I love about my current home and parents' homeland is the language.It might sound a little like the Irish,but it's really its own unique thing.We even haveour own dictionary!We love taking existing words and using them in a completely different way.Or we make up our own to suit our needs.

First up,reading the title of this post,you're probably thinking "What the hell's a CFA?" In short,unless you're from Newfoundland,it's you.CFA stands for Come From Away and it refers to all non-Newfoundlanders.

I think everyone shouldcome visit Newfoundlandso I put to万博官网gether a little guide of a few common slang terms and phrases to help you out when you come see us.Now,you don't have to go using them yourself but this should help you understand us locals during your time here.;)

Newfoundland Words

  • CFA
    • Come From Away.Someone who isn't from Newfoundland.
    • Example: "George Street is full of CFAs tonight."
  • B'y
    • Though originally a short form of ‘boy' it's actually gender neutral and isn't interchangeable with ‘boy'.It adds emphasis to a phrase.
    • Example: "Yes,b'y","Go on,b'y"
  • Some / Right
    • Used similar to ‘very'.On a scale,rightis more thansome.
    • Example: "It's some cold out." or "She's right pretty."
  • After
    • we sometimes use this word instead of ‘have' to mean in the past.
    • Example: "I'm after buying the wrong lightbulb." instead of "I've bought the wrong lightbulb."
  • Wha
    • similar to the Canadian "eh?" We throw it in to make sure that you're paying attention.
    • Example: "It's some sunny out,wha?"
  • Luh
    • we apparently have a complex or something about people not listening to us.This one roughly means "Look!"
    • Example: "Luh.Missus over there's wearing leggings as pants."
  • Buddy and Missus
    • What you call someone when you don't know their name.Missus can also refer to your female better half.
    • Example: "Buddy on the corner." "Missus,万博官网get me a beer from the fridge."
  • Rotted
    • Annoyed.Pissed off.
    • Example: "It's snowing in April.I'm rotted."
  • Crooked
    • cranky,grouchy
    • Example: "You're right crooked today.Did you 万博官网get up on the wrong side of the bed?"
  • Mauzy
    • Damp and warm.Muggy.
    • Example: "It's a mauzy old day out there today."
  • Fousty
    • Musty,off-smelling
    • Example: "I left dirty laundry in a plastic bag and now it's fousty."
  • Blocked
    • Busy,crowded,packed.
    • Example: "We went to the bar,but it was blocked.There was a line-up to 万博官网get in."
  • Squat
    • Squished,smashed.
    • Example: "I stepped on a spider and squat it."
  • Stunned
    • Temporary lack of intelligence,dumb.
    • Example: "Buddy's some stunned.He left his car running with the keys locked in it."
  • Shitbaked
    • Scared,terrified.
    • Example: "When I saw the moose charging at me I was shitbaked."
  • Arse
    • Ass – it just sounds nicer when we say it.
    • Example: "Look at the arse on d'at!"
  • Skeet
    • You say "white trash" we say "skeet".Aggressive,uneducated,unruly people usually associated with loitering and petty crimes.
    • Example: "Some skeet held up Marie's Mini Mart again last night."
  • Stogged
    • Full
    • Example: "I'm stogged.I couldn't possibly eat any more."
  • Sleeveen
    • A scoundrel,a rascal
    • Example: "万博官网Get out of here you little sleeveen.你偷了我的午餐。”
  • A Time
    • Funny,happy,social setting
    • Example: "Man,we had a time last night." | "It was quite a time at Joe's this weekend."
    • Reverse: No so much a time.Something that wasn't very much fun.
  • Not Fit
    • Exceptionally bad
    • Example: "It's not fit out today so it's the perfect time for a Netflix binge."
  • Chummy
    • A thing which you may or may not know the proper word for.Along the lines of thingamajig,whatsit,or doodad
    • Example: "Pass me that chummy would ‘ya?"
  • Streel
    • An unkept person.A bit of a mess.
    • "You're not leaving the house like that are you?You look like a streel."
  • Racket
    • A loud noise.A commotion.
    • "Someone's making a racket out there."

Newfoundland Sayings and Expressions

  • How ya 万博官网gettin' on?
    • How's it going?
  • Knows ya can't go.
    • You've got some energy.
  • 万博官网Get on the go.
    • To 万博官网get going or to have a good time.
  • 万博官网Get on the beer.
    • You're not literally sitting on a case of beer.But you are going drinking…a lot.
  • The arse is gone out of ‘er.
    • It's all gone to hell.
  • Be there the once.
    • Be right there.We use "the once" to mean right away,soon.
  • Go on in out of it.
    • Remove yourself from the situation.
    • Alternate: Go home out of it.
  • Whatta y'at?
    • What are you doing?How're you doing?What's up?A proper response might be "Nuttin' b'y." or "This is it.
  • Who knit you?
    • Where are you from?Who are your parents?Usually uttered after you've done something foolish.
  • Best kind
    • Good.Satisfied.
    • "How ya 万博官网getting' on,b'y?" "Best kind."
    • "We've got cod for supper tonight.Is that alright?" "Yes,best kind."
  • I dies at you.
    • I think you're exceptionally funny.

Pro tip: Don't use the term ‘Newfie'.For some,it's offensive no matter what.For others,it all depends on who's saying it and how.So when you want to refer to the people live on this rock in the North Atlantic,they're Newfoundlanders.

Another little tip for your first visit to Newfoundland,don't be alarmed if someone working in a store or restaurant calls you ‘sweetheart',‘my love',or even ‘me duckie' – they're not coming on to you…it's just a thing we say.

The few words and phrases I listed out here are pretty common ones but they're really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.Have you heard any others that stood out to you as being particularly Newfoundland?I'd love to hear them.

What's your favourite Newfoundland saying or word?

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Before You Go

152 responses to "A CFA's Guide to Newfoundland Sayings"

  1. Peter says:

    Tips are good enough.

  2. John Daniel says:

    Good tips.Thanks.

  3. Anne Tenaglia says:

    Where ya to?

  4. Anne Furlong says:

    When I was growing up in St John's in the 50s and 60s (and boy does that make me feel old),playing I Declare War or Hide&Seek,we called the safe place "goulos" (well,that's how I spelled it to myself).Imagine my surprise when I discovered in my 20s that other folk had the utterly boring "safe" or "home".Imagine my puzzlement when I discovered in my 30s that my students at MUN had never heard the word … it had been displaced by "safe" or "home" by mass media.So there's mine: "goulos" (spelled like The Goulds).You can find it in the dictionary of Newfoundland English,where it's identified as non-urban.Not in my childhood.

    • Interesting!I'd never actually heard of "goulos" either.I love learning about new slang across the island.

    • Audrey says:

      I grew up in the West End of St.John's (born 1962) and we always used the word " goulos".I too was totally amazed to discover that people thought the term strange.

      • Brenda says:

        I grew up in the centre city and we always used the term goulos while playing tag or any other game.

  5. Newf says:

    Blocked can also be used to say you are full or have over eaten."What a deadly scoff,I'm blocked" or another saying with the same meaning is "I'm blocked to the (da) gills".

  6. Liz says:

    After a scoff I'm full as an egg.

  7. eric says:

    I am from bermuda and now married to a newfoundlander when we first started talking on the phone I was telling her a story and after finishing it she used the phrase "go on" and to me it meant it was time to end the call but what she really meant was "really ?"

    • I guess that's pretty similar to "万博官网Get out" when exclaiming disbelief.

      • Justin says:

        More commonly (in my neck of the island,anyway) is "go way" or "go way,by" instead of go on or 万博官网get out.

    • Ruth-Ann Goodyear says:

      I've often heard the phrase,"go on wit ya" after being told something shocking,titillating or gossipy.I grew up in NL,but ‘out around da bay'.:)

  8. Anita says:

    In St.John's when we moved there in the early 60s,they used "hobble" to mean any little job you got paid for,such as shovelling snow or working on a farm part-time.Also used as a verb–to go "hobblin'" after a big snowfall–looking for a "hobble".It comes from the Irish word for work.

    • Niki says:

      We still use that :) A guy at my work is trying to 万博官网get his kids to find little hobbles for the summer,and my husband finds little hobbles around the house all the time :)
      We are only in our early 30's.

      It's a great word!

  9. Andrea says:

    "What's it giving out for?" refers to the weather forecast.If there is snow coming it's giving out for snow.

  10. Cindy says:

    Dunch: originally used to describe bread that didn't rise enough before/during baking and felt heavy…also used in this fashion: "Me arse is dunch"… meaning you have been sitting for too long!

    Chinched/Stogged: filling in a seam (between planks of wood) or stuffing/sealing up a hole….also used in this fashion: "I'm chinched!!"…meaning I ate too much!

    Gommel: I don't know whether this has any other meaning other than "idiot"…used by my Mother if we did something stupid… "can't believe ya did that…ya gommel!"

    • I think I've heard gommel used before.Could you say "ya saucy gommel"?or does that not make sense?

    • Niki says:

      Stogged,we def say stogged for a tight fit / too full.
      The wood stove can be stogged too."Jaysus mudder ya got da woodstove stogged do ya?I'm roasted"

      Yeah I feel like a gommel was a step up from saying you were a stund-arse.You have hope left.hahaha

    • David Wicks says:

      Dunch: My mother taught me the first one (heavy/doughy dumplings),my father the second one!

  11. Tara says:

    "Seein' ‘s who ya are" translate to:

    Seeing as you are who you are,which is to say a friend,I will grant your request.

    • Craig says:

      As I grew up hearing it and using it it means similar to your description but more like – you are important to me or this situation so I will do as you request.The person it is said to does not necessarily have to be a friend.

  12. Vanessa says:

    Nice guide !

  13. John says:

    Yaney- it means disagreeable,said to me by my babysitter ," Your children were right yaney today"

  14. Vickie C. says:

    What about the CBFAs?Born in NL,they've left,returned,and are now "Come-Back-From-Aways." Not looked upon so kindly…I mean,why'd ya leave at all?

  15. bob says:

    Wow,so many of these I use daily and never realized they were specific to Newfoundland.

  16. Michelle says:

    1."I dies at you",meaning you are very funny

    2."Out ‘gin door",meaning outside and "sing out",meaning yell ex: If someone calls for me sing out,I'll be out ‘gin door chopping wood.

    3."gurnsey",meaning a tightly woven wool sweater

    4."Long may your big jib draw",a jib is a sail and to draw it up would help to make your ship go fast and finish your journey.The saying means I hope you fare well or are prosperous in your endeavor.

  17. Roxanne says:

    Hi,loved your story.BUT….why is it wrong to call us Newfies??Love it when you meet a new co worker and they ask if I am a Newfie.Right off,the ice is broken and laughter starts!!

    • Some Newfoundlanders (like my dad) embrace the term but for others (like Great Big Sea),it has the "stupid Newfie" connotation attached to it.As I said,it alls depends on who's saying it and in what context,but you'll never offend by asking "Are you from Newfoundland?" or "Are you a Newfoundlander?" instead.

    • Holly says:

      Right I don't understand why people who right theses articles always add that Newfie is offensive makes me think are theses people Newfie who are writing the cause I love being called Newfie ya darn straight!

      • I put it in there because I know plenty of people here who *are* offended by the term after a generation or two of "stupid Newfie" jokes and people from away using the term in a derogatory way.Some people,like my Dad,embrace the term and that's cool.More power to you.
        But if you weren't from here and were visiting for the first time,why would you want to risk offending someone?

        • Niki says:

          Exactly,there are those that are and those that aren't.
          The warning stands as just that,a warning.
          Usually the older generations who remember the origin of the word don't like it.Young crowd don't seem to mind as they don't have the same memories / connotations.

          I'm in the middle,and for me it is greatly dependant on context and tone.I wouldn't risk a similar term if I were travelling somewhere.

        • Kathy D says:

          I am one of those who am deeply offended by the word.It makes me cringe every time I hear it.Travelling across the country for work over the years I have had many experiences where it was used to put us Newfoundlanders in our place.

      • Stephanie says:

        From what I learned in sociology Newfie was a derogatory term used to insult Newfoundlanders.So I can see why people 万博官网get offended.

      • prowe says:

        Well I hate it.I don't even like for Newfoundlanders to call me a Newf or a Newfie.The term was coined by American military personnel as a slur against us ‘stupid newfies ‘.

    • Kim says:

      I was told that the derogatory term "Newfies" actually started back during war time when Americans would come into Argentia.If we did something that the Americans deemed stupid,that's what they would say "Stupid Newfies".so guess people of that generation would not want to be called Newfie for this reason.Perhaps stuck through generations.

  18. Adella says:

    Squish – crooked.That picture is some squish.

  19. Holly says:

    People who right these articles always seem to add how Newfie is offensive!Like hell it is,them people who are must be touched or are embarrassed of their Newfoundland roots I'm happy when some one called me Newfie cause I am den!

    • As I said,some people embrace the term,but others are offended so if you're visiting NL for the first time,why run the risk of offending?After a generation or two of "stupid Newfie" comments and jokes,I 万博官网get why some don't like the term when it come from a mainlander.

      • Karen says:

        Never mind maid,she can't 万博官网get it through her noggin!Flankers…..embers,as…."Careful of the flankers coming from that fire!You might 万博官网get burned,ya stun arse!"

      • ann says:

        As a CFA,but living here for 30 some years,this is my take on the term.If a Nflder calls another a newfie,or uses the word himself,it's not meant as derogatory.But if someone from outside does,it is.Something like a black man may call another a "n",but another race most certainly cannot.

  20. Devon says:

    whatta got in yer mouth me ol cock

  21. Devon says:

    You don't know no buddy dat wants nutting done do ya?

    • Craig says:

      I could use one of dem der new thingamajiggers Devon.

      I have an aunt that speaks like that.Thingamajiggers = that thing I can't recall the proper name of at the moment.Similar is tumiejiggers

  22. Chris says:

    "Blowed up like a gurnet" or something that has swelled up/gotten bigger.

    "Tough as a gad" meaning very tough…

  23. Stephanie says:

    Twack;it's like window shopping or poking around in the shops.
    "I was just twacking about downtown St.John's"

  24. Mona says:

    I'm originally from Twillingate and we have some of our own slangs!!One in particular is skint.That' s a skint gert house there!Meaning the house is big!!

    • Bill says:

      For you who don't know,the word Newfie was first used by Americans during the second world war,‘stupid Newfies'.It's another ‘N' word that needs to disappear.

  25. John Bell says:

    It's not "stunned",it's "stund".

  26. Scott says:

    My mom always said,"Ya' can't see yer arse for steam".
    Meaning: it's very foggy out today.

  27. John says:

    As an Aussie currently wandering around Newfoundland I love this as there are a surprising number of common/similar terms which are probably indicative of our common Irish/Scottish/Cockney backgrounds.

    For examples:
    "Scoff – in Oz it means to eat everything too quickly as in "I scoffed it down and am now as full as a goog" (Australian for egg).

    She's "right pretty" is dying out but "He's crooked on him" means "he's cranky about him.

    Arse – same as in Oz.Much better than the American ass.

    Other bits of slang that are common are:

    Seein's who ya are

    Go on (with ya)


    But in Oz,skint means broke (no money).

    And I am starting to 万博官网get used to being called "my love" – even by other blokes as happened in a café today!

    The great thing about Newfoundland slang is that it is seems to be still fairly common whereas in Oz we are becoming much more Hollywoodised,hence ass for arse.

    Finally,my wife and I love this place.I just wish I could understand everything that is said to me!

    • "Scoff" here also means a big feed,typically jigs dinner but could be any large meal.If you're doing to a dinner and a dance it might be referred to as a "scoff ‘n a scuff".

    • Craig says:

      how about calling you "me duckie" or me duck,similar to "me buddy" or "me love" or "me ole cock"

      here are a few more many may not heard before.

      Bumbly – rounded and hard to walk on like Bumbly rock (round rocks near a shore or river bank

      Shanks Mare – use you legs and walk or run

      Slobery – messy or difficult such as thick but soft chunks of ice in the ocean "slobery ice"

      jumpin dins – I can't believe it or wow,or I am shocked

  28. Nancy says:

    I use the word "some" in so much of my every day language,it confuses a lot of people.Especially now that I live in the USA.I also say "where's that to?" a lot.Then I have to re-word it because people don't understand lol.

  29. Jared says:

    What about " Some sook arse you is!"
    I've noticed that being " Sookie " Or a " Sook " is pretty limited to Newfoundland diction .

    • Andrew says:

      In alberta they say "suck" for sook.I don't know how many arguments I've gotten into over that.

      • Dawn says:

        I lived in Alberta for 9 years and always thought it sounded so silly when hearing someone being called a suck lol!Guess it just depends on what you're used to hearing :)

        • Toni Collins says:

          I'm from town (st johns) we sometimes call people a suck arse lol I guess to be compared to a teachers pet.

  30. Nadine Martin says:

    If we were sitting too long we would say our backsides were dunch.

  31. Rob LeDrew says:

    ‘Ow's dat now?!by Rob LeDrew
    Here ya go !!!

  32. C says:

    I learned the term ‘handy' shortly after I moved here….as in ‘did you 万博官网get up close to it?' Also ‘pip off' – I think that's a Newfoundland saying!

    • Craig says:

      "on the pip,pipping off or skip or skipping off" are used to say you are missing classes in school with out permission when you should be there

  33. Nicki says:

    Can't for万博官网get the word ‘Satched'.Meaning Soaking wet.
    ‘I was out on the rain and now I'm satched'

  34. Lynn says:

    spot me a " fin " will ya,meaning loan me $5.00

  35. Lee Bromley says:

    My mother would often say: I've got some fisik (don't know how it would be spelled) meaning having a bad cold.

  36. Fletch says:

    When I wanted a ride home,my father would say;"shanksmere it" meaning walk home.

    • Craig says:

      yes my father would say the same.When I asked what it mean he would say use your legs and walk.He said it meant "shanks" are a term for one's legs and a mare is a horse so use your legs like a horse would and walk or run.So for him I guess he would have spelled it Shanks Mare.

  37. Jess says:

    Gut-foundered- very hungry

    "By's I'm gut foundered!Can't wait to 万博官网get a feed!"


    • Annie says:

      My father was born in Trinity Bay and my mother in Notre Dame Bay….every bay has its own dialect!It was difficult for me to recognize most becauseI was born and raised in Central Nl.My mother always called us children ‘skin flints' if we were up to any kind of mischief and she would ‘skiver us up' if she caught us in mischief again!

    • Craig says:

      feed da waw?Fish or trout?lol

      in Newfoundland folks fish means Cod,all other fish go by there name.Fish is Cod.Trout is a fish but Fish is Cod.

  38. Crystal says:

    How about "snarl",meaning tangled,mess?Ex: what a snarl she got herself into last night!

  39. Nicole says:

    What about "oh what a sin" or "that's a sin" meaning I feel bad that unfortunate occurance happened to that person!!

    Also "what a feed",meaning a lot of good food!!!

  40. Jean says:

    When I worked as a nurse at the General Hospital we always had foreign doctors.When they were asking their patients what symptoms they had of the replies maybe …Doctor I have a wonderful pain…meaning a very bad pain..Another symptom might be Doctor I can't gulch.Meaning I can't swallow.It was hard for these doctors to make a proper diagnosis
    Thank God for Newfoundland nurses…

  41. Terri says:

    I'm originally from Rushoon out on the burin peninsula.When I moved to carbonear for college I was shocked when I learned that people had never heard the term Pussle or Pussle guts.Pussle as we would use it means to drink something really fast.As in "my god,you got that beer gone some fast.Yer some pussle-gut."
    I got made fun of a lot for that.Lol

  42. Violet says:

    I love this one – "Look at da face on ‘er,luh – she's crooked as sin today"

    Only a Newfoundlander would say a sentence like that.And only a Newfoundlander can make your mood a whole lot better,just by saying it to you.And by the way – if that sentence doesn't bring a smile to your face – then there's not much odds about ya – lol (said with a wink and a nod)

  43. Lynn says:

    I remember watching "Cold Water Cowboys" and one of the fisherman said his net was ripped from "arsehole to appetite".That's a saying my mother uses :) I understood exactly what he meant but the people who translate for the subtitles had no clue and put in question marks instead lol

  44. Katie says:

    "Sook" is another great one.I know on the mainland (also should be on the list) they sometimes interchange "sook" with "suck" but Americans have no idea what a sook is.

  45. Linda says:

    I grew up in St.John's
    We always gave the baby it's "dummy" .People in Ontario always questioned me about that one.
    Sorry Mainlanders,I'll give the baby the pacifier or soother ….lol

  46. lorna says:

    Living near Bonavista when I first heardthw word Startless I thought it was so funny.Great word!Means alot of things.Something can be startless which means there is nothing else quite like it!!Or a person can be startless…

  47. lorna says:

    Living near Bonavista when I first heard the word Startless I thought it was so funny.Great word!Means alot of things.Something can be startless which means there is nothing else quite like it!!Or a person can be startless…

  48. Christine says:

    I worked as a nurse in Twillingate.I had to translate for our foreign doctors on more than one occasion.I recall a particularly funny explanation from a patient describing his pain,"I feels it on up trew b'y".Can you guess what he had?Yup – a urinary track infection….right on up through!LOL

  49. Amanda says:

    Great list!I've got a few to add!

    The phrase "Best kind" comes to mind,meaning something or someone is awesome or doing well."Nan's doing best kind b'y!," or "that's best kind!"

    Also,"hard case" meaning a hard ticket or troublemaker."He's a case," or "he's a hard case!"

    RDF is an abbreviation for Rain,drizzle and fog common in these parts ☺️

  50. Stephanie says:

    Can't for万博官网get "satched," "sook," and "what a sin!"
    My mother,born and raised in St.John's,was fond of using the word "streel(/streal?)" to describe how disheveled and messy we looked,and "hairy paimy" (have no idea how to spell that one!) to tell us our hair (not the rest of us) was a mess.
    My father,from Burgeo,never seemed to used those two terms.
    Great post!

  51. Jason says:

    "chinched to the gunnels" meaning full,or cannot fit anymore there.
    Ex."didnt think i was gonna eat all that,chinched fo the gunnels now," or "cant put anything else in the pan b'y shes chinched to the gunnels"

  52. Lisa says:

    We also use "shift" alot in reference to a change.For example " when ya drops off da youngsters,make sure they brings a shift of clothes in case they 万博官网gets rotten."

  53. Kate says:

    ‘Greasy' for slippery or icy,‘a run' for a ride (co-worker out west was really confused when I said I'd give him a run home),‘sleeveen' for a sneak or someone up to no good,‘back o' beyond' for middle of nowhere…

    And I will count myself as one who's on the young side but doesn't like Newfie used by CFAs.When I hear it I tense slightly,waiting to see if it'll be followed up by a denigrating joke or comment.Often it isn't,but ‘oh,you're a Newfie,are you?' has been followed up by a snark about welfare or lack of education too frequently in my heating to disassociate ignorant views from the word.

  54. Kate says:

    Ooh!I forgot ‘priming' for drinking before you go to the bar and ‘dragged off with' for ‘had a drunken one-night stand' (latter may be specific to Memorial University…

  55. 劳拉 says:

    Calm seas often referred as "some cam da day b'y" or "cam as da oil" or "just like da bottle out dere"

  56. Gerri says:

    Loved reading through this post.One that we used a lot when I was growing up in St.John's was "dout your fag" which translates to "put out your cigarette".I'm not sure of the spelling of "dout".

  57. Len Altilia says:

    When I first arrived in St.John's as Principal of a school a student asked,"Tip me lead.Fadder?" I had to ask my secretary for a translation: sharpen my pencil.Our maintenance man referred to his wife as "Me ol' trout".Two very Irish expressions were common: "between the jigs and the reels" (when all is said and done) and "different as chalk and cheese" (no translation needed).I always enjoyed "How's she goin',b'y?" and the appropriate response,"Wonderful grand!".And "Proper t'ing" – that's the way it should be.And ‘stunned as me arse" for really stupid.I could go on for days!

  58. Interesting web site and comments.However,the use of the word "slang" to describe Newfoundland English is equivalent to describing other aspects of Newfoundland heritage as "crap"."Slang" is a pejorative term,but,more to the point,it is linguistically inaccurate.Traditional Newfoundland English has its historic origins in England's West Country dialects and the Irish of the Waterford area of SE Ireland.It has a history older than Canada.If you believe that respect is due other aspects of Newfoundland heritage,at least give traditional Newfoundland English the respect due to it and avoid calling it "slang" or "lingo".

    • Guess I learned something new.I just used ‘slang' in the dictionary definition sense.
      "a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal,are more common in speech than writing,and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people."

      Given your angle though,I could rename this post "A CFA's Guide to Newfoundland English".

  59. Susan says:

    Working on the mainland,I discovered that the expression "to clue up" was completely foreign.When asked to clue up,my colleagues insisted that they all understood the information and didn't need to be brought up to speed.They were quite puzzled when I explained that ‘clue up' meant to tie up loose ends and move on to something else.There's no Upper Canada equivalent as far as I know.(Totally against ‘Newfie' moniker as well)

    • Steve says:

      I think the word is actually spelled "clew" and "to clew up" is actually a term for furling a sail.I guess it migrated for the ship to shore as it is quite common in my circle

  60. MICKEY CROCKER says:


  61. Rosi Phillips says:

    When I was home this summer,St.John's,I found it hard to hear the lilt of our language.Missing also,many if our lovely,unique phrases.Except I was asked if I come from away.This did annoy me a little.I found the younger people and those working with the public spoke more Canadian.Albeit I returned with a light lilt revived from my own recesses.It seems Newfoundlanders,young and a generation before rather be called Newfoundlanders along with the sea of green white and pink flags to rant,we're tired of being looked on as less than and we're fighting as true Newfoundlanders.I now echo the same as someone who had later issues in life,part of which listening to the stupid jokes and snickers,oh you're a Newfie.But you don't act like one.What the fook does this mean?Wha!I'm proud and lucky,I am a true Newfoundlander.I can't see being anyone else.Stick dat in your craw mainlanders.Good day,

  62. Stephie says:

    It's pecking outside.
    It's starting to rain.

  63. Stephie says:

    It's pecking out.
    It's starting to rain.

  64. Nikki Mainlander says:

    As a born mainlander,I at first found it very hard to take it all in when I moved here in November of 2015 but I've been learning very quickly lol.One that still confuses me,as there are many different meanings it seems,is "you're not fit b'y"
    Some say it's that you're bad,some say on the piss and too hammered….So I think that one is tough but I loved this article it helped me a lot!!!Even living here I sometimes have to look up or ask what things mean and it makes ya feel the fool for sure at times.But I'm learning!☺️

    • Ha."You're not fit." generally just means "you're not right/ok." Like,to say something's not fit,means it's not good."The weather's not fit today,wha?"

      • Craig says:

        depends on how it is said/context.If someone told a funny but perhaps dirty or offensive to some people joke one might laugh and reply "yer not fit b'y" If someone said something disgusting or offensive to everyone,one might reply in anger "yer not fit!"

  65. NL says:

    Humpty = ottoman

  66. J.C says:

    Well if your in Alberta,doesn't matter where you come from on the east coast we are all Newfies to them.They talk about the states not knowing what's above them,well Alberta doesn't know that there is anything past Ontario.

  67. Pamela Richardson.nee Yetman says:

    My Dad was Air Force and we were stationed in Gander in the early 60's.
    It was quite an eye opener!The saying I liked was….stay where you're at and I"ll come where you're to.
    I found out that my grandfather was from Cornerbrook but I was still considered a CFA

  68. Tesa says:

    Squat means squished and squish means crooked and crooked means contrary.I can see why some CFAs can't 万博官网get it all straightened out!

  69. Terril Chessell says:

    I'm a CFA and recently heard a Newfoundlander describe his beer as "rain-gee." Does anyone know what that means?

  70. Pat says:

    Verb: to scoat….it means to strain when pooping… yup,that's what is said in Bonavista Bay….poor ting is "scoatin" some hard… Cause she is constipated!

  71. Craig says:

    some others

    Gert … meaning very … "with a gert big stick I'll knock him down.

    I'm poisoned … meaning I am angry at you or about something,I'm rotted has same meaning

    ya got some face on ya … or ya got some puss on ya … meaning why do you look so sad or angry or disgusted.

    I dies at you … meaning you make me laugh/happy

    dem der … meaning those things

    daes – meaning they "daes ave ta be da best fish I ever ad yes sirie.I shit ya not" translation they have to be the best fish I have every had,with out a doubt and I am not lying to you.haha hmmm maybe I am missing Newfoundland after moving away.

  72. Daryl says:

    I CFA and i 万博官网get a kick out of " arse foremost." Pretty sure it's like backasswards or better yet backarsewards.Here in Saskatoon there are a few who tell "Newfie" jokes.Please ignore them.They are idiots.

  73. Yvonne says:

    当我一个小女孩在袋湾长大,We played cobbies every spring.We would go door to door asking if people had any cobbies(old or cracked dishes ).
    If they did,they would give them to us.when we had collected enough,we would bring them back to our
    cobby house witch Was usually a little shack we had built.
    We played house with them until the boys would come and break them to make us mad.
    Special cobbies like teapots were prized and we often traded our best cobbies with each other.

  74. Tim says:

    Question…my wife's step-father fought in WWII in the Newfoundland Navy in the Atlantic.He had a great saying,but I can't find it anywhere,or anyone who can confirm where it came from…and forgive my spelling…I'm from ON!

    "Ayse right,oilskins tight,arseholes to the mast!"
    Comments please?

  75. Holly says:

    Fyi- being called newfie isn't offensive,95% of newfoundlanders are PROUD TO BE NEWFIE!!

    • Sure,some don't mind but a good number of us do mind the term when it's used in the wrong way.For too long it's been associated with "goofy newfie" as a way for mainlanders to belittle us.So just be careful who you use it with.

      • MJ says:

        I'm a Nfldr in my 30s.Growing up in SJ,Newfie was considered 100% derogatory & never used.This was because the adults had to deal with people from away & experienced much discrimination.As a kid,I personally was on the receiving end of Newfie jokes when ppl out west found out where I was from.

        The only time any Nfldr used it around me growing up was when we were in rural Nfld where they had little contact with ppl from away.

        I don't like the term Newfie.It has negative associations for me personally.However,I'll tolerate it from another Nfldr,not an outsider.The term "Newf" offends me even more & I don;t like it from anyone.

  76. Terri says:

    I absolutely loved this article.I have been married to a Newfoundlander for 20+ years.Tonight,he used the word "fousty" and none of knew what it meant – me and our two kids (12 and 17).I searched online and found your article.It made everyone laugh!My husband often says "you poor old trout." We live in Indiana.He returns home a few times a year and is always full of the phrases when he returns."Come in for a cup of tea,my love." Great reading.Thanks.

  77. Lori says:

    I have always loved the way you guys say stuff.I love Nfldrs!I think you have the best sense of humour in the whole world.I always did even though I hardly knew anyone from there.Then I met a guy from Main Point.The word "Newfie" didn't offend him at all nor anyone I met through him.He even named our Lab "Newf" We met in ON then moved to Ft Mac and I was there 7 years.Being with him for the first 5 of those 7 years,I actually picked it up so well that people would ask me what part of Nfld I was from.Hahah and I was honoured!!It wasn't till I moved back to ON that I learned that I didn't speak Ontarian anymore.As much as I understand why people are offended,whenever I personally said Newfies,my context was out of love for you and your culture ♥️ Here are some of my faves:

    * tanks b'y – thank you
    * you took da side right outta da house – when you have a big yawn
    * luh – look
    * heggs – eggs
    * I about bust – I laughed really hard
    * the heat's up on bust – the heat is as high as can go
    * the radio's up on bust – music is very loud

    Sigh!I miss interacting with and hearing you talk on a daily basis xoxo

  78. Proud Newfie Girl says:

    Don't know when or understand why the term Newfie is offensive,even to some.Seems to me that those who are offended by that term may be ashamed to be Newfies!Real Newfoundlanders are not offended by Newfies!

  79. Holly W says:

    Dampers on a stove,meaning the stove element."Turn on da damper,I boils da kettle."
    Another one we would say is vamps,meaning boot liners.I don't know where that originates from,but I never knew they were liners until I told my Mainland friend to haul the vamps out of his boots so they could dry.He brought up solid,haha!

    • Rob says:

      Damper comes from the historic "5 parts of da stove"
      Lifter,Leg,Poker,Hole and Damper
      This was always said very fast as my dad always loved saying it.Other notable sayings from him are
      "don't know nobody,dat don't want noddin done,do ya?"
      "Hes no good,Id rather have a stick dan to have he"
      "how ya spose to do are ting when you got nar ting to do are ting wit"
      And the classic
      hope you enjoyed this and if your a mainlander please please please practice this a lot before you try to say these back to a real newfie as the might look at you like your snapped right off by.

  80. Linda Blain says:

    I actually just returned from Newfoundland and upon arrival asked several of the locals if Newfie was not a nickname they liked.I was told that it was perfectly acceptable and heard it used by locals time and time again.Just sayin'… ;)

    • Yes,you'll find plenty who have no problem with and and you'll also find a group who consider it to be a derogatory term that harkens back to "Newfie jokes" and stereotypes.Why risk offending locals just because you personally like it?

  81. Scott Gring says:

    Chink – "me mudder" (all her family from Stephenville – or Kippens,actually – and me born there) would talk of chinking the windows in winter.Didn't think anything of it really being a NL thing since we kids grew up in the states,but "Lukey's Boat" was "chinked with putty…" Ah-ha,me b'y!

  82. Ian Brown says:

    I loved my time in Newfoundland.Being a Navy man,I have borrowed some nautical phrase.My favourite is: Long may your big jib draw!A great farewell to crewmates posting away.Seeing the phrase: "Full as an egg" here reminded me of my childhood in Australia where my mother would say: "Full as a goo!",having the same meaning.

  83. Newfie girl74 says:

    Newfie girl in Alberta here.
    Found this page while googling "meme for crooked as sin" Lol
    Anyway… love this article!
    The only thing is we grew up thinking CFA meant ‘come from away' but FOR Nflders who were away from Nfld,not non-newfies!But idk,maybe thats just us Glovertown-Gander peeps.

  84. Newfiegirl74 says:

    Another term:
    Jumpin Dyons
    (Like a non swear word) We'd say it as kids
    Nippers (mosquitoes)

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