Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions

Slang

NL Words (Slang)

A

  • abeysance – obeisance or homage
  • adikey – Eskimo hooded outer garment or blouse made of cloth or animal skin
  • afeard – afraid
  • afore – before
  • afrore– frozen (see Frore)
  • after –  a position similar to “have.” (i.e.: “I’m after sitting down” for “I have sat down.”) also used like “trying” (i.e.: “whaddya after doin’ now?” for ” what are you trying to do?”
  • aglet– eyelet, the hole through which a bootlace is passed or reeved
  • aim – intend to
  • airsome – cold, but pleasant and bracing
  • ajee – awry
  • alabaster – (alabaster) a doll
  • alix water – the watery residue in a cask of cod oil after the oil and blubber has been drawn off
  • all-T-Taint-O– fully rigged masts and yards (see tant)
  • all to – except (they are all here, all to Pat)
  • alond– an expression of degree, use like amain
  • amain – very much; greatly (it stinks amain)
  • ampered – infected, purulent
  • ampery– a cut that is infected and swollen (the cut was all red and ampery)
  • ampersaned – the 27th letter of the alphabet
  • andra Martins – funny words and tricks. The name is derived from a man’s name
  • anenst – against
  • anent – immediately opposite
  • angish – pitifully small or mean; slickly; cold
  • angishore – a man regarded as too lazy to go fishing, a worthless person, a sluggard
  • angnail – hangnail
  • anigh – next
  • anighst – corruption of nigh
  • aninst– beside
  • aninamazaptus – a word repeated in the ear for recovery from falling sickness
  • apast – passed
  • aps – asp or aspen tree
  • apsy – thick with aspen trees; in place-names
  • argufy – to argue warmly
  • arm – a long narrow inlet from sea into a land area
  • arn – any
  • arra – either
  • asta – hast thou or have you
  • at – to ask. Published marriage banns
  • athirt– corruption of athwart; across (he’s gone athirt the bay)
  • atirt – athwart
  • awful – remarkable or exceptional (that’s awful nice of you to do this for me)

 

B

  • backhand – slapping somebody with the back of your hand (watch your mouth, or I will give you a backhand)
  • back-burn– a backload of firewood (usually carried on the shoulders)
  • back-load – a large amount
  • badness – mischievous intent (I teased her, just for badness)
  • bad’n arder – a mischievous boy
  • bad scoff – an excellent meal
  • bag – referred to as a male scrotum or testicles
  • baint – am not or are not
  • bald – a tool when the edge is “nicked” and does not cut well
  • balderdash – nonsense
  • ballin’ – crying
  • ball ass – a person who is either whining or crying all the time
  • ballycater – ice formed by spray on the shore
  • ballyrag – to abuse
  • bam – a false tale, to parody or ridicule a person or scared ceremony
  • bamboozle – to puzzle, deceive and make fun of a person
  • bander – a copper coin or halfpenny
  • bank– sloping land extending to the water’s edge, usaully of sea water
  • banker – a vessel engaged in cod fishing
  • bangbellies – pancakes made of flour, fat and molasses, fried on a pan
  • bang up – first class style
  • barmp – Toot your car horn, mimicking a horn sound
  • barvel – leather, canvas or oilskin apron worn by fishermen and women while cleaning fish at the stage.
  • bannikin – a small tin cup
  • bannock – a round cake of bread
  • barvel – an apron of sheep’s skin, used in splitting fish in the stage
  • barber – white fume or smoke rising from the surface of the water of the Harbour or the Bay
  • bare buff – a man with his shirt off, half naked
  • bargos – salt water snails or periwinkles
  • bark – to soak nets and seines or snails in tan made from rinds of trees; also to wound the skin by contact with an object, etc. (I barked my shin against the chair)
  • barking kettle – a large tub used to make a tanning liquid for sails
  • barnacle – a vicious man or beast. Evilly inclined. An idle waster
  • barrens – a natural dry open area, covered with small shrubs and rocks
  • barricaders(ballacarters) – frozen sea ice on the foreshore unmoved by the ebb and flow of the tide
  • barrisway – a lagoon at a river mouth. A small harbour where small boats shelter, enclosed, except the shoal narrow entrance, by a sand bar.
  • bas or Baz– to kiss. Baz marbles is a Newfoundland expression
  • bass – to throw small stones
  • bat – to kill or stun a seal with a club or stick use to play ball
  • batant – a piece of wood that runs along the edge of a door, window, or the hatch of a ship. Also batten
  • batty– a large catch of codfish ready to be thrown up to the stage head from the boat would be called “a fine batty of fish.” It suggests derivation from the French fisherman whose fishing boat was a “bateau”. “A fin putt of fish,” having a similar meaning referred to the fish when it was thrown up ready to go on the splitting table. A sum of money
  • bautom – the ball of wool or yarn from which stockings, mittens and gloves are knitted
  • baven(Bavin) – wood shavings to light fires. A brush fagot bound with one with to light a fire, a larger on tied with two withes, was call a fagot.
  • bavins– whittlings from a dry stick to light the fire (stiff shavings)
  • bawl – to cry
  • bawn – a beach used to dry fish
  • bayle – a bucket for dipping water out of the dory
  • bayman – person living from around the Bay (water)
  • bas(Baz) – to kiss; “baz marbles” (an express ion to kiss marble before throwing)
  • beauty – expression used to refer to something done extremely well.
  • beater – a harp seal just past the white-coat stage and migrating north from the breeding grounds on the ice floes off Newfoundland; a dissolute woman
  • beaver – a dram at eleven in the forenoon
  • beaver hat vessel – a fore-topsail schooner
  • bedlamer– a two-year old harp seal, said to be corrupted (from the French meaning “Bete de la mere,”) or beast of the sea. An immature seal, especially a harp seal, approaching breeding age.  Also, a youth approaching manhood.
  • bedlamer boy – a youth twelve to sixteen years old
  • bend – to attach a sail to the mast or boom with hanks
  • bender – a person who had been drinking for a while
  • berry ocky– home-made drink of wild berried, especially partridgeberries, jam and water
  • berth – a place as seal-hunter on a vessel with a share in the profits of the voyage
  • bibber(Biver) – to shake with the cold (said especially of the teeth)
  • bide(‘Bide) – remain or stay, ie., bide there, let ‘em bide. Abide, use in the old sense of “to put up with,” – “to endure.”
  • biggarnos – salt water snails or periwinkles
  • bile – a boil or sore
  • bill – wages made at the seal fishery by a member of the crew. Also, the point of a Cape or Headland
  • billet – a small stick or cudgel, hence our log of wood for fire
  • binicky(Bineky) – ill-tempered, cross or moody or morose; a corruption of finicky
  • bison – a bull
  • bight – a long curve in the coastline
  • bitting stick – piece of wood used to tighten rope holding a load of wood in place on a sled (used as a tourniquet)
  • biver – to shiver with cold
  • black– referring to a protestant
  • black puddings – sausages made at home after the killing season
  • blagarding – swearing or cursing
  • blanker – a spark of fire. A flanker
  • blast – a wound received from witchcraft or fairies
  • blasty – a evergreen branched that has died with its needles turned red and intact
  • blather – nonsensical talk or a foolish talker
  • blear – to complain loudly
  • blinker – signal lights on a car
  • blind-Buck-And-Davy – blind man’s buff (a game played)
  • blubber – oil used on slips (see slip) to ease the friction on a dory when brought in towards the shore, made from cod livers that fishermen threw in large barrels
  • blocked – meaning crowded, full or packed (the church was blocked with people)
  • bog – peat, removed from marsh-land and used to improve soils
  • bog meadow – an open stretch of grassy marshland
  • boggan – crossbar behind the horse to which traces and plough are attached
  • bogie – a small stove used in schooners’ cabins and fore-castles, also in small houses and tilts. A “Beehive” stove
  • boil-up – a brew of tea, and a sometimes a little lunch, taken during a break from work
  • boneen(Bonem or bonnif) – a young pig
  • bonna Winkie – the game of Blind Man’s Buff
  • bore – the “head” or rise of water when the tide turns at spring tides
  • boreen – a narrow road, path or lane
  • born-days– a life time, ie., “All my born days I never saw anything like that”
  • bostoon – a clumsy, coarse fellow. An ignoramus
  • bottom– a ball of thread or yarn; the innermost part of the of a bay, harbour or inlet; land adjoining the innermost part of the bay
  • brack – a crack in a dish or furniture
  • bran – brand, likely; a log of wood afire
  • brandies (brandishes) – sunken rocks over which the sea breaks
  • breaker – a partially submerged rock over which the sea breaks.
  • bresna(brishney) – a bundle of firewood
  • brazen faggot – a saucy, impudent young girl. Jokingly bestowed upon infants or small children
  • brook – a small stream of fresh water, smaller than a river
  • brown Bread (or black bread) – whole wheat bread.
  • brudder – brother
  • breach – schools of fish on the surface of the water
  • bream – to heat, with a birch-rind lighted mop, the bottom of a boat hauled up and turned over on the beach and ready to be tarred
  • breastney – a load of dry sticks or boughs that one can lift to the shoulder
  • brewet – soaked bread with fat poured over it
  • brewis – hard biscuit boiled, and pork fat
  • brickle – brittle, ice or glass easily broken
  • bridge – porch or veranda, back step
  • brieze (Breeze) – to press down firmly, to lean hard on, to press down with a lever or prise
  • broach – to open a cask of liquor
  • brishney – dry twigs gathered for fuel
  • broomed – a schooner was broomed when the owner wanted to sell her. Instead of an ad in the paper, the old birch broom used in sweeping the deck was hoisted to the mast-head
  • brough – likely to break, brittle
  • brouse – tips of the limbs or birch or other trees that goats like to feed on when green or recently cut down
  • brutal – something excessively harsh or unfair
  • bubbly-jock – a turkey
  • bublem-squeak – cooked corned beef and cabbage made into a hash
  • buddy – making reference to a person whose name you don’t’ know or forgot. “Eh buddy.”
  • buckle – to bend or yield to pressure as ice when walked on
  • buckly – said of ice on a pond or in a harbour that undulates when walked over
  • bullamarue – a bully, a noisy, aggressive fellow who insists on having everything go his way
  • bull-bird – common dove like (hunted for food)
  • bull’s eyes – candy in knobs
  • bully – a large boat with gaff sails
  • bultow – old name for fishing trawl. An older name for same – Spilliards
  • bum boat – a boat attending ships coming to the harbour selling fish, meat, greens, spirits, etc
  • bumby (bumbuy) – later on; bye and bye
  • bung-your-eye – strong alcoholic drink
  • bunt – middle part of a fish seine with the smaller size mesh for “drying up” when the ‘arms” are hauled home; also describing the middle of a sail where the wind bulges it out (seamen terms)
  • busk – to hustle around and get food, etc., for nothing
  • butt – a type of cask (smaller than a puncheon) used to pickle or store fish or other goods.
  • butter fingered – slippery hands and/or fingers
  • bye (B’y) – boy

C

  • cacorne – the windpipe
  • calabogus – rum, molasses and spruce beer mixed together
  • calflick – tuft of hair on forehead
  • cam-crooked – awry, as shoe heel
  • cant – to lean to one side or to turn another way, to up set
  • cantle – a small portion of anything
  • cape – an area of land extending into the sea
  • Cape ann: a fisherman’s oilskin cap with a broad rim, sloping at the back, and side flaps tied under the chin, AKA sou’wester
  • caper – a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement; gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
  • capisten – a wooden wench to haul up fishermen’s dories
  • card – in net knitting, a thin wooden oblong, four or more inches long and of varying width, used as a guide to the size of mesh required
  • cark – protruding metal or wooden point on a sled to hold logs in place
  • cast-net – a weighted circular open net thrown by hand among schooling caplin or herring and dragged ashore or to a boat as the net is closed on the catch
  • carteel boat – a lighter boat used to take fish to a loading vessel
  • carry away (off) – to steal (someone carried off with my knife)
  • cast – to add up figures
  • cat (Tip-Cat) – a game played with flat-end sticks and a ball on the ice in winter
  • catamaran – sled with stout wooden curved runners up in fron and with a vertical stick, or horn, at each corneer, either hauled by a horse, dog or man.  Used for carting wood and other heavy loads. Also, used for pleasure, passengers facing one side of the sleigh
  • caubeen – a cap or hat
  • caudle – a sloppy drink in cookery
  • caudler – a person who muddles up anything
  • changling – a child left in exchange by faires
  • chaps – wrinkled skin on hands and wrists
  • chase-ass – person following another in bothersome way
  • chastise – to rebuke. Not to beat, as in this – “Master I ask you to chastise that young man”
  • chesterfield – a couch
  • chews – food chewed in (pabulum form) by a mother to feed her baby
  • chimbe (Chime) – part of staves beyond the head of a barrel
  • chimbly – chimney
  • chin-cough – whooping cough
  • chinch – to stow tightly
  • chinkers – interstices between logs or boards of a house
  • chit – a child
  • civil – fine or calm, said of the weather or the sea. “A civil day for fishing.” “The water is civil now
  • chock – piece of wood to stop a cask from rolling
  • chop – a quantity of firewood cut down in one area
  • choule – the jaw, now jowl
  • christmas boxes – boxes carried around by poor people at Christmas soliciting money
  • chuckle – to throttle or grasp one by the neck under the chin
  • chucklehead – a stupid person
  • chucks – the cheeks; staves of broken-up barrels put into another barrels for convenience in freighting
  • chute (Shoot) – a declivity. A narrow, inclined street or lane
  • chulots – cod roe (cod spawn looked like a pair of pants – French pants or shorts “Culottes”)
  • clamper – ice detached from berg or floe
  • clavey – a square hole in the chimney in a kitchen, on each side of the fireplace to store things in
  • clever – handsome. “A very clever-looking man.”;  in good physical health. “How’s your father?”..Oh, he’s clever. This doesn’t refer to a skills
  • clew up – to wind up or finish
  • click – the stiff inner leather in the back of the heel of a shoe or boot
  • clinch – to wrestle or horse play; to confirm an unbelievable story
  • clink – a smart stroke. Also, to make a tingling sound; to beat another with the fists
  • clinkerbell – an icicle
  • cliff – a high and very steep rock face
  • clit – a tangle of the hair, lines and twines, or chains and anchors on the bottom of the bay
  • clitchens – the point on the side of the body indicating the right length of a shirt
  • clobber – an untidy state of things
  • clom – to clutch, a tight embrace in wrestling
  • cloud – a woolen knitted scarf or shawl worn by women and girls
  • clout – to hit an opponent hard
  • club – to put an extra sole on a boot, which is then called “club-soled”
  • clum – to grapple with an adversary. To close or tackle, as in a fight
  • clumper – a small floating ice-berg
  • clutch – brood of chickens
  • coady – sauce, usually made with boiled molasses to cover puddings or dumplings
  • cockbaloo: A bully
  • codger (dodger) – a large horn button on an overcoat
  • colcannon – seven kinds of vegetables boiled in one pot and served on Hallowe’en
  • cold-junk – referring to a knocked-out person
  • collar – place where a fishing boat is anchored for the night or “Sunday”, just a few yards from the stage
  • complected – facial appearance. “A fair complected lady”
  • complete hand – an expert. “He’s a complete hand to build a house”
  • conkerbills – icicles formed at the eaves of a house. Ice-candles
  • connor – a bottom-feeding fish of inshore waters, commonly around ledge rocks, wharves and stages
  • considerin’– used in a modified sense, ie., “How are you today, ma’am?”..Very well, considerin’.”
  • coopy-down – to bend down, to crouch, to lower oneself
  • copanse – size or content of a container
  • cop-up – to hand over something
  • copying – running on floating ice-pan to ice-pan
  • corned – drunk, intoxicated, inebriated
  • cos – because “I did this cos I was foolish”
  • cossock (sabots) – old rubber boots cut at the ankle, used during the summer period (usually after the winter season, people would cut the legs of their boots at the ankle)
  • cotton – to agree. Being friendly with others
  • cotton to – to follow or flatter. To play the toady
  • cotched – caught
  • coufle (Covel) – a tub with handles
  • contrary – difficult to get along with. Not to be confused with “contrary to popular belief.”
  • cove – a small inlet
  • covel – a sawed off barrel with carrying handles attached to the sides. Use for carrying fish
  • cow-lick – person’s hair grown in one direction, seemingly a wave pattern
  • cow out – being tired. “I am all cowed out”
  • crackie – a small dog
  • crank (cranky) – a vessel over-masted
  • crannicks – dried roots of trees
  • crewdle – to bend down together
  • crit – being in a cramped position
  • critch – a small covered bowl used for molasses
  • croodle down – to stoop low, in order not to be seen
  • crooked – a cranky person (he was very crooked this morning)
  • crop– the outfit that a sealer who has “signed on” is allowed to on credit for the supplying merchant, usually tenor twelve dollars worth
  • cross – ill-tempered, moody or morose
  • cross ‘ackle (heckle) – to vex by contrary argument. To contradict. To ask difficult questions
  • cross-handed – single handed; alone.  Used particularly of one carrying on the hand-line fishery alone. “he goes cross-handed”
  • cross-patch – peevish childc
  • crowdy – oatmeal with milk poured on it
  • crubeens – Pigs’ feet salted and prepared for cooking
  • cruds – curds; sediment
  • crumbles – crumbs of bread
  • cubby-hole – a small storage space in the basement or attic
  • cubby-house – a child’s outdoor play house or doll’s house
  • cuddy – an enclosed space forward or aft of a dory or small vessel
  • cuff – a thick fingerless mitten used by fishermen to protect their hands when hauling their lines or splitting fish
  • cuffer – a meeting of fishermen or seamen, generally aboard a ship, to have a friendly chat or “swap yarns”
  • cund – to give notice and show which way swimming fish are going. (our “scun.”) to direct from the barrel or crows-nest of a sealing steamer
  • cunny – a woman’s vagina
  • curchie (crowchie) – to stoop down, to curtsey, or crouch
  • cure – a funny fellow
  • curwibbles (colliwables) – unsteady or fantastic motions (of man or beast), such as those caused by too many glasses. “He was cuttin’ the curwibbles alright.”
  • cut – the patch of seal is “cut” when nearly all in sight are killed and hauled on board
  • cut-throater – member of the fish-cleaning crew who cut the throat of the cod fish and slits the belly open from the gills to vent in preparation for heading, splitting and salting.
  • cute – keen; sharp. “A cute man.”
  • cut up shines – to make a row or jollification

D

  • daddle – the hind paw of a seal
  • daid – dad
  • dangerous– very ill, near death
  • dank – moist, damp
  • damper – stove cover or lid
  • damper-dogs – toutons (fried dough); pan-cakes made of a flour and water mixture and cooked on top of the stove
  • dap – to fish with a dapper or a hook encased in lead
  • dapper – a hook weighted with a lead half for quick sinking in cod fishing
  • darbies – handcuffs
  • darn – a drink of rum or other spirits. “He gid’me a good darn of run
  • dat – that
  • dawn – a drink of rum
  • deadly – a reaction to something done “over the top”; overdone; excessive. Can also be used as a response to something done very well.
  • dead-eye – sore or callus on hand
  • dead-set – obstinate (he was dead-set on not doing it)
  • dean (dene) – a valley
  • dear – expensive (it was a very dear suit)
  • dem – them
  • derrick –Hoisting sturcture, named after a Tyburn hang-man in the 17th century
  • devilskin – hard case
  • dick – a leather bib worn by children (dicky)
  • didder – to shiver
  • diet – a person’s board or keep for fishing servant, shareman, or member of a fishing crew
  • dieter – one who receives winter board (rations and quarters) against the promise of cash or service in the next fishing season.
  • dill – a cavity in a dory from which water is bailed
  • dinghy – a jollyboat, boat, dory
  • dipper – a small container used for taking water out of a larger water-container; an harp-seal before reaching the age on one year when it takes to water
  • dipping-time – the period from March-April when young seals take to water
  • dirt – disagreeable weather (rain or snow) – we are going to have “dirt”
  • disactly – for exactly
  • disgusted – pained, disappointed, grieved
  • disremember – to forgot
  • divet – sod, piece of turf
  • divvy-up – to share
  • dodge – to walk in a leisurely fashion
  • dogwood – mountain ash
  • dogberry – mountain ash, berries from a dogberry tree
  • dole – unemployment insurance
  • dolly-blaster – a porcelain doll
  • doodads – small fancy things
  • doolamaun – dulse, kelp
  • double-sled (two x bob-sleds) – two linked section sleds drawn by horse(s) to haul wood
  • douce – put out a fire, also dout, also stroke or hit on a the cheek
  • doughboy – round shaped hard dumpling
  • douse – to give a quick blow
  • dout – to put out, i.e., to dout the lamp or fire
  • dory-fashion (ship-shaped) – a person wearing unattractive or poorly made clothes
  • dose – a person with a sexual transmitted disease
  • dotard – an old seal
  • doter (dotard) – an old seal
  • down – referring to a location, i.e.”down the shore”
  • down dru’me’s – diarrhoea
  • doxy – a sweetheart (woman)
  • drag – a chain underneath a horse sled runner to prevent it from speeding up
  • draff – useless stuff, rubbish
  • draft – two quintals of dried codfish when weighed, put on a barrow and carried by two people
  • drag – an appratus (usually a chain) used under a the rudder of an horse sleigh to prevent the slegh from speeding up and/or the weight load of the slegh from pusing on the horse
  • drang – a narrow path or lane
  • drash – to pluck or pull quickly
  • drave – past tense of drive
  • draw-latch – to liter, or be lackadaisical
  • drawers – woman’s underwear
  • dredge – to sprinkle salt on a deck load fo fresh herring, also, to rouse them
  • dresser – an old fashioned kitchen cupboard; an  individual who removes the head, guts, and backbone of a codfish
  • drew – the number of meshes formed in a row to making a fish-net
  • driet – drying power in the weather prevailing. There’s no driet in the weather
  • drit – used as past tense of drive. The wind carried away my sail and so I drit across the bay
  • droke – a thick grove of trees; also pronounced “Drook”
  • droll – unusual; odd. A sick person may say “I feel drool today”
  • drook – a valley with steep wooded slopes
  • drool – a state between sleeping and waking
  • drop – refering to a drink of alcohol
  • drops – liquid drugs prescribed by a doctor, used as either eye or ear drops
  • droudge – a slavish hard worker
  • drubbin – oil and tallow to preserve boots
  • drung – a narrow, rocky lane
  • dryth or drieth – drought
  • dubbin – mixture of oil and tallow to make leather tight
  • duckish – between sunset and dusk, starting to get dark
  • ducks & drakes – making flat stones skim on the surface of the water
  • dudeen – a pipe
  • duds – clothes
  • duff – pudding of flour (dough mixture)
  • dulse – a kind a seawee; kelp
  • dummy tit – a pacifier (babyDunch – soggy
  • dun – applied to a certain (bad) quality of dried codfish which has turned reddish in colour due to insufficient salt
  • dunch – dumplings made of flour and water only
  • dwai – a short snow shower
  • dwell – a sled made from barrel slats
  • dwoi – a short snow shower

E

  • ean – to bring forth young lambs (eanlings)
  • earings – brass eyelets in the reef-points
  • elder – another name for udder. “the cow’s elder is bursting to be milked”
  • elevener – a drink of sprits for a luncheon at 11 a.m
  • empt – very for empty
  • end irons – andirons, dogirons
  • entire – an ungelded horse, a young stallion
  • ‘ere – here…note that some Newfies drop their h’s and pick them up in front of vowels!
  • evenin’ – a glass of grog after the day’s work
  • ever – meaning very or much; “it is evercold outside”

F

  • fadder – father, dad
  • faddle – a bundle of firewood, fardel
  • fadge – to bustle about; to manage. “I got to fadge for myself now”
  • faggot – a pile of half-dried fishf
  • fallish – the kind of weather that indicates that the autumn is at hand
  • farrell – the cover of a book
  • fairy squalls – small wind twisters that take up dust
  • feck – one used as a subservient tool for doing some mean work. Also, a stiff feather for oiling clock works
  • fegs – a mild oath, in faith also pronounced faix
  • fella – a companion; a chum, a buddy
  • felone – a sore or whitlow on a finger
  • ferks – crotch of pants
  • fese – to frighten; i.e. that don’t fese me
  • fetch – to reach a point steered for in a boat
  • fidget – to move about uncontrollably or to twitch
  • figgity-pudding – raisin or plum pudding
  • figgy – refers to rainsin
  • figgy pudding – a plum pudding usually make during the Christmas season
  • find – having trouble with (“I find hard to think”)
  • fipper – a seal’s forepaw, flipper
  • fire – to throw something (“he fired stones at the birds”)
  • firk – to bustle about
  • fish halfpenny– a coin current in the 1860s with the figure of a split codfish on one side
  • fish store – building used by fishermen to store their fish
  • flacoons (damper dogs) – pan-cakes made of a flour and water mixture and cooked on top of the stove
  • flakes – an apparatus to place salt cod fish to dry
  • flankers – sparks from a chimney or fireplace
  • flapjacks – fried dough in pork fat
  • flashet – a small pond or puddle; usually water in a marsh
  • flat – a small, flat-bottomed row boat
  • flice – to throw
  • flinders – small pieces
  • flirrup – a large stage lamp; a torch
  • floaters – men who fished from schooners using cod traps rather than jiggers
  • flobber – waves stricking the rock (shoreline) very gently
  • flogging – workman carrying fish in a barrow on the merchant’s premises
  • flooholic – lavish
  • floury – term used to describe the surface condition of a well-made or choice salt fish
  • flowers – rocks or ledges where the sea-water breaks
  • flummox – to be puzzled; to give up; to fail
  • flux – to haul quickly
  • fond – simple person; half silly
  • fong – a leather bootlace made from deerskin
  • food order – food stamps issued by the government on a monthly basis
  • footer – an idle, lazy person
  • foots – bottom of nets, where the leads are attached
  • footy – trifling; mean looking in appearance as in house decorations and/or furniture
  • forefeits – what young barbars paid for drawing blood
  • fornent – opposite
  • fousty – mouldy, with a bad odour
  • folly – a building not suitable for use
  • fox-eye – ring around the moon
  • frankum – harden gum of spruce tree used as chewing gum
  • frape – a rope with blocks to moor a boat
  • frenne – a stranger
  • frigger – swear work in lesser form
  • fritters – soaked hard biscuit, fried with salt pork
  • froppish – cross, fretful; applying to babies
  • frore – frozen
  • frough – brittle wood
  • fruit – a homosexual male
  • fudge – to manage daily chores alone
  • fun-maker – a person who ridicules another
  • funk – smoke or vapor of evil odour
  • funnels – stove pipes and/or lamp chimmeys
  • fust – mouldy bread
  • gut – a narrow passage, a channel of water between two hills
  • futter – idel fellow; a wastrel

G

  • gad – a stick to carry trout or flippers
  • gaffer – a boy, between ten and fifteen to help out at the fishery
  • gamogue – a silly trick
  • galing – laughing and joking, in mood where everything seems funny
  • gaff – a long pole (6 – 8 feet) with an iron hook at the end
  • gandy – a pancake
  • gansey – a woolen sweater, from Guernsey
  • gall – a sore place
  • gallivantin’ – running around the roads when expected to be at home; a run-about
  • galluses – pant braces; suspenders
  • gally – to tire; to exhaust one’s strength on a job or a journey; to frighten
  • gammor (Gammar) – grandmother; french for grande-mere
  • gandies – pancakes served up with scruchions and molasses
  • gansey – a heavy wollen knitted man’s garment with no openeing on the back or front, pulled on over the head and reaching just below the waist; a wool sweater
  • garagy – a game where you scramble to be the first to pick up coins
  • gauches – funny words and tricks; gags
  • gatching – a person showing-off
  • gaters – overshoes
  • gawmogue – a silly, mischievous person
  • gaze – a hiding place, make of rock and/or brushwood on a hill overlooking the sea, use for hunting seabirds
  • genge (Gange) – to attach a fish hook permanently to a fishline
  • gig – a small wooden 2 wheel wagon
  • gimp – sleeveless dress
  • gilderoy – a proud person
  • gladger – a joker who pretends to be in earnest
  • glaum – to snatch suddenly with the hand; the thing snatched
  • glauvaun (glawvaunin’)– to complain about trifles, continuous complaining
  • glitter – coating of ice formed on trees
  • glockeen – a blade of straw
  • glom – to grab
  • glory-hole – a cupboard on the head of a stair-case for brooms, etc; a store room on ship
  • glutch – to swallow with difficulty or to swallow quickly and forcibly
  • goddashe – a lesser form of goddamn
  • gob– mouth
  • gobbet – a morsel; a mouthful
  • gobstick – a stick about two feet long and half an inch in diameter kept at hand when fishing, to remove the hook from the its hold when swallowed by the fish
  • gock – to took at
  • gollop – a large morsel
  • gombeen – a small, mean trader; an usurer with small capital; small cubes of tobacco used as stakes in playing cards
  • gommel (Gomeril) – a stupid or foolish person
  • gommil – a moron, a half fool
  • gomogues – clownish tricks and play
  • goodish – rather long or large; a goodish step, a long way
  • goowiddy – low shrubs growing in the barrens
  • gone – in a bad condition or situation (“the economic situation in Nfld is gone”)
  • goulds – open areas of land, suitable for farming
  • gossip – a godfather or godmother
  • gowdy – awkward
  • gowerlie – another namefor the snipe or wabby
  • granny – a midwife
  • graplin –a small metal anchor with four barbs
  • green– uncurred fish; an inexperienced youth
  • green fish – codfish split and salted, however, not dried
  • grog – a quantity, shot of rum
  • grogram – thick canvas used for boat sails
  • ground – an area of shoal water with abundant bait fish, where fishing is successfully carried out
  • grounds – (grouts)  – sediment of liquid in a container, that of beer being often used as yeast or barm in making bread
  • grouts – sediment of coffee remaining in the cup after drinking; sediment at the bottom of a beer barrel
  • growler – a partly submerged small iceburg, the top awash of the waves
  • gruel – oatmeal porridge
  • grub – food; victuals
  • grum (Grumpy) – angry, surly
  • grump-heads – post on a wharf for making fast lines and warps from vessels (pronounced Gump Heads)
  • grumpus – the whale
  • guff – impertinence
  • gulch – a hollow or cut; depression in a road or cliff; to swallow greedily
  • gully – a ravine; a covel or half barrel with handles
  • gulvin – the stomach of a codfish
  • gumbeens – cubes of chewing tobacco
  • gurry – blood and slime from a fish
  • gush – a gust of wind
  • gut – a wide river’s end where it joins the sea

H

  • hags – nightmares
  • hames – curved pieces of wood for made for a horse’s collar
  • handsturn – assistance
  • handy to – close by or near
  • hansel – a free gift, a reward to the first buyer
  • handy-jans – woolen wristlets worn in the winter
  • haps – the hasp of a door
  • hapse – the slack of the trousers
  • harden’d – disobedient; stubborn
  • hard tac – hard bread
  • hard case – a mischievous person; full of tricks
  • hard pain (Bad pain) – extremely painful
  • hard ticket – same as hard case
  • handy to – near (besides)
  • harp – to grumble at; a young seal
  • harry – to vex; to jade or torment
  • harse – horse
  • hasp – the catch of a door or gate
  • head – a projecting hight part of the coast, sometimes called headland
  • heft – something heavy or to weigh in the hand
  • helf – the handle of an axe, half
  • hook -and-line – a single fishing line with hook attached used manually to catch cod fish or other fish
  • huffed – vexed
  • hum – an unpleasant odor
  • hummock – a small hill

I

  • ignorant boot – an ill-fitting or ugly boot
  • inflammation – pneumonia
  • irish chain – a decorative pattern used in making quilts or in knitting
  • irish Lords – type of sea-bird
  • irish toothache – a pregnant woman
  • irish spruce – red spruce tree
  • isses – earthworms
  • itch – a person with scabies

J

  • jackabaun – a mischievous, untrustworthy person
  • jackeen – a rascally boy
  • jackie-tar – offspring of a  French man and MacMick woman
  • jag – a backolad of hay; a load of liquor
  • janny – an elaborately costumed used to disguise a person who participates in different activities during Christmas
  • janning – the practice visiting houses disguised as a mummer at Christmas
  • janny-night – any night during the twelve day of Christmas (25 Dec – 5 Jan)
  • jar – a small seal whose growth has been stunted by the abandonment or death of its mother
  • jawed – to be scold or a good talking to
  • jig – to fish with line and hook. To dance
  • jillick – to throw a stone underhand using the side of the body as a fulcrum
  • jinker – one who brings bad luck
  • jit – a joke; also a nudge
  • John Casey – refered to a blueberry pudding served with molasses “coady” or sauce
  • jollification – a merry feast
  • jorum – a jug of liquor
  • joskin – a clownish prating fellow
  • jowler – term used of a sealing skipper, who in time has brought in many loads of seals; and able man, physically
  • jug – motion, palpitation or any sign that life exists (“not a jug out of (or in) him
  • juniper – a larch or tamarack
  • jut – to hit someone with your elbow

K

  • kam – crooked
  • keel (keg out) – to lie down; to go to bed
  • kellick – a handmade wooden anchor weighted down with rocks
  • kenat – a contemptible young fellow
  • kental – a hundredweight – quintal
  • kible – a jest, to joke or flout
  • kibosh – a word or deed that ruins an undertaking; a black cap worn by Irish Judges in giving the death sentence
  • kellick – an anchor used to moor a boat or cod traps, made from a large stone (rock) secured by four pieces of wood
  • killock – a home made anchor
  • kingcorn (kee-corn) – the Adam’s apple of one’s throat
  • klick – the stiffening at the back of a shoe
  • klit – a tangle in one’s hair
  • knitch– a bundle or backload, especially fo ten spruce or fir trees rinds, rolled up as taken off the standing trees
  • knob – a prominent rounded hill, sometimes call a knap
  • knock-off – stop what you are doing
  • knocked-up – being pregnant

L

  • lacin’ – a good spanking
  • laddio – bit of a rascal
  • lanch – a launch or slipway for landing boats
  • landwash – the shoreline (area between high and low tide lines)
  • lapstone – stone used by cobblers in softening leather
  • larrep – a stroke, to beat
  • lashins – plenty
  • lassy (lassie) – molasses
  • latitat – a scolding, a beating
  • layers – pieces of whitrod or young firs to make a fence
  • leal – loyal, faithful
  • leary – exhausted; tired; hungry
  • ledge – a shallow underwater rock formation often frequented by cod
  • lee-long – a long time; indefinitely
  • levener – a drink of rum or liquor taken around eleven a.m.
  • leaves – the unit quantities of rands in knitting a trap or seine
  • leef (lief) – equally or preferably
  • leggies – small salted unsplit codfish
  • lich-gate – where a corpse is halted on being borne to a church
  • lifter – apparatus or tool to left the damper on a stove
  • lightsome – cheerful
  • lights – lungs (refering to an animal)
  • lilt – a cadence in song, music or poem
  • line – a cross-country road linking to a major road with a settlement
  • linkum – sou’wester (hat worn by fisherman)
  • linny (linhay) a one-storey room build on to a residence (mother-ln-law suite)
  • lissom – pliable lumber, willowy, graceful
  • lists – rows on a flake formed by loose longers that held the flake boughs in place (where fish were laid to dry)
  • liveyers – those who belong or live here
  • loaded – a drunk person
  • lob – not of much value; a large lump of anything
  • lobscouse – soup made of fresh codfish
  • loggins – boots, made of leather and rubber
  • lolly – soft ice beginning to form in a harbour
  • longers – wooden rails for a fence
  • long-home – the grave
  • long-tongue – tattle tail
  • lops – small breaking seas
  • lourd – dark, glommy
  • low-minded – a person who is suffering from  depression

M

  • mad – angry; sulky (“he was some mad at her”)
  • mainlander – anyone not born on the island
  • making (fish) – the process of preserving fish by salting and drying; curing.
  • make out – to pretend
  • main – very, as in “I was main sorry”
  • manus – to mutiny aboard ship
  • maul mouth – a screecher
  • mauzy – misty, foggy day
  • mares’ tails – long, narrow clouds of a dark color
  • marge – a margin, a boundary, side of a lake
  • marks – weather forecast (it marks rain tomorrow)
  • marl – portrait
  • marrow bones – the knees
  • mash (mesh) – a marsh or bog
  • maugre – in spite of
  • mausey – cloudy, foggy day with no wind and little rain at times
  • maxim – a silly boy who like to play with girls
  • merry-begot – an illegitimate child
  • merry-dancers – aurora borealis (northern lights)
  • methodist bread – raisin bread
  • miche – to skulk, hide away or play truant
  • middling– only fair, not in good health
  • miller – moth
  • mind oneself – be careful
  • mind the youngsters – to babysit
  • missus – usually referred to the wife or girlfriend
  • mixen – making bread
  • miz maze – confusion
  • mockbeggar – a house that look nice but gives no hospitality
  • moidered – to bewilder
  • moldow – the lung-wort fungus on a fir trunk
  • mollycoddle – an effeminate person
  • monge – to eat, to munch
  • mopish – a tired or lazy person
  • mop boards – floor base boards, moudlings
  • more – a root of a tree
  • mossy – an intelligent person
  • mort – a great quantity
  • mot – a roll of paper or other inflammable stuff to light a pipe or fire
  • mouch – to play truant from school
  • mother-in-law door – front door on a Newfoundlander’s house (way back front doors were almost never used)
  • mucker – confusion; in a tight corner; nonplussed
  • mudder – mother or mum
  • mullygrubs – grumbling in a cross mood
  • mummer – local person in disguise or wearing a custom at Christmas time (going from house to house during the twelve days of Christmas (25 Dec – 5 Jan)
  • mummering – the practice of visiting houses disguised as a mummer at Christmas
  • munch– to grind with the teeth
  • mundle – a wooden baton used to stir soup
  • mush – porridge
  • mux – muck, dirt

N

  • nag – to chip, nick or chop with a blunt axe
  • nansarey – a small hand sledge with runners of staves, suitable for hauling over the snow crust, and used especially by sealers and loggers for their clothes bags and chests
  • narn – none
  • natty – neat, spruce, tidy
  • necessary house – bathroom; outhouse
  • neck – a narrow strip of land joining a peninsula to the mainland; sometimes called an isthmus
  • nesh (nish) – tneder; delicate
  • net-gallows – a framework of longers with two sides and a ridge-pole, for spreading nets to dry
  • nip – small drink of brandy or rum; a hard place to get over in the road when hauling a load
  • nipper – mosquito
  • nippers – swanskin bands, fitting tightly around the hand to protect the fingers from being chafed by the friction of the line in cod fishing; boy who tend men at their work
  • nish – tender, easily injured
  • nitch – for knitch; a small budnle, 10 rinds
  • nix – nothing
  • noax – a simple minded person
  • noggin – a small cup; a small tub used on a sealer (boat) for taking food from the galley
  • nokes – a simpleton, a ninny; a fool
  • nonce – occasion; design
  • norway – a whetstone
  • nos’l – know that ties the depending hooks to the trawl line on the fishing ground
  • nowl (noul) – top of a hill
  • nuddick – a hillock, generally with a level top of sufficient space for a house or small garden
  • nug – a rude, unshapely piece of timber, a block
  • nunny bag – a small skin or canvas bag for holding provisions on a journey

 

O

  • odds – consequence; difference (“what odds is it to you”)
  • offer – to try; a trail (“I’m going to make you an offer for this house”)
  • offer ground – distant fishing ledges
  • old Christmas – 5 Jan (on this day the Christmas tree is taken down and Christmas is over)
  • old hag – nightmare
  • Old Tom – west Indies rum
  • old soldiers – squid that are becoming stale and unfit for codfish bait
  • Old Year – new year’s eve
  • omadhaun (omadawn)– a foolish person
  • omaloor – a clumsy, stupid, simple-minded person
  • oonshick – a person of low intelligence, stupid
  • opin – depend on it (opin he’s going to go fishing)
  • ornery – ugly or plain; no good
  • ownshook – an ignorant, stupid person
  • oxters – armpits

P

  • packing fish – a method for keeping partially dried and dried cod-fish from spoiling or developing “dun” when damp weather conditions prevailed tht did not allow for spreading. Salted and drying ish would be unpacked from one pile and replaced into another to kee “dun” and other conditions from harming the fish.
  • pank – to pant as a dog
  • peach – to tell or inform against; reveal a secret
  • peeze – to leak in small bubbles
  • peppy-net – a woman’s clitoris
  • permiller – rope (manila)
  • perney – at once; immediately (“I’ll go perney”)
  • pew (peu) – a one-tined prong for throwing fish from a boat to the stage head
  • pick – a young boy’s penis
  • pickled fish – fish salted in watertight containers in a brine complsed of salt and the fish’s own water content (drawn out by the salt)
  • pishogue – a story generally discredited
  • piss-ass – a person who pees to bed and/or a nuisance
  • piggin – a small wooden bucket for bailing out water
  • pinch– a hill or upgrade on a country road or woods path]
  • pinnacle – a conical piece of ice standing out prominently. Sealers use them as markers when they wish to leave any of their impedimenta or seals, so that they can be located easily on return; they were also used to tie vessels onto, for warping through the ice
  • pirl (purl) – to spin a top or toss a coin or button
  • pishogues – superstitions; gossipy yers and incredible stories
  • pissabed – dandelion flower; person who pees to bed
  • pitch – to land (did the airplane pitch yet)
  • pitchers – ribs in the fore and after sections of a boat’s frame
  • pitchy-paw – a butterfly
  • planchen – the floor
  • plaumaush – soft talk, flattery
  • plaver – to flatter; to cajole
  • plater – to hesitate
  • planter – from the earliest times, immigrants who settled in Newfoundland and had means enough to build their own fishing rooms. “ship” , men and issue supplies to other fisherman, were called planters, following the term applied to the Virginian Colonists (who at least planted tobacco while in Newfoundland most of the planters did not even plant a potato or a cabbage
  • plawmosh – blarney; soft talk; flattery
  • pledge – a catholic person who pledged to God through his parish priest to stop drinking for a certain period of time
  • plim – to make a barrel or key tight by filling it with water or standing it in running water to soak
  • plug-eye – a sculpin, a scavenger fish
  • plumb – a blow or troke of a fist or tool, that hits squarely (“I was struck plumb on chin”)
  • point – a piece of land jutting out into a body fo water
  • poisoned – frustrated with something (I was poisoned when I heard the news)
  • pook – a pile of hay (dried hay for cattle)
  • pope’s nose – turkey’s ass (cooked)
  • potheads – small whales; also known by American fisherman as “Blackfish”
  • potlids – circular snow shoes or rackets worn by woodsmen and hunters; homemade thin pieces of board nailed to a frame of birch bent to shap
  • porringer – a tin container for holding porridge
  • portmantle – a travelling bag; portmanteau
  • preg – abbreviation of pregnant (she’s preg)
  • prig – to steal
  • prise – a lever
  • pritchet – a prop under the shaft of a cart
  • prog – food
  • proper – real; genuine (“my mother was a proper lady”)
  • portestant whisker – whiskers under the throat
  • pucker – bustle; confusion; a hurry
  • puncheon – a large wooden barrel
  • puddock –  codfish stomach
  • purdle – to twirl a coin in tossing it; to sidle in motion
  • purge (putt) – a purge or putt of fish means a catch of fish, generally it is used in a complimentary way (“a fine purge or putt of fish you’ve got in that punt”)
  • purl – the eddy in a stream or brook
  • pussy-cats – catkins on a willow tree

Q

  • quar – a quarry stone
  • quat (quot) – to stoop down; curchie; to crouch; squat with knees bend and head down
  • quawking – squawking like a hen or bird
  • queer – to puzzle (“Tom said such a queer thing to me”)
  • quid – a chew of tobacco; the cud
  • quinterin’ – killing scattered seals while the ship is moving through loose ice
  • quishin – a cushion; name of a dance

R

  • rack – a hair comb
  • raft – a pile of timber; logs or boards tied together to float passengers on a river or the ocean
  • rafted (rifted) – ice piled up after a stormy sea
  • rag – sanitary napkin
  • rake – the inclination of the mast or prow of a vessel from the perpendicular
  • ram – a highly sexual male person
  • ral – a disorderly fellow; a rowdy ro rioter
  • rampike – a heavy stick used as a lever
  • rames – a skeleton
  • rams – long sticks extending from the bow of a sealing vessel lashed under the bowsprit, to afford a fotting to ghe sealers for poking pans of ice out of the ship’s way
  • ramshorn – a box with slatted sides, about eight feet long, threee feet wide and three feet deep, used in washing fish
  • randy – a boisterous spree (“on a randy”); any noisy fun
  • raney (rawney) thin, emaciated, guant; also means “an Irish storey teller”
  • rant – to drink and riot
  • rawny – very thin, bony; meagre
  • reach – a creek or small bay
  • red-raw – eager to begin (“with a keen appetite”)
  • rendering process – a procedure whereby a substance such as animal fat is melted down in order to clarify them through extracting the impurities.
  • ree-raw – disorder; an; upset condition of affairs (“the house is a pure ree raw”)
  • rere – flexible and easily digestible
  • rhode – mooring cable attached to a boat’s grapnel or killock
  • right – very or much; “it is right warm outdoors”
  • rind – bark from a tree
  • ringing table – a circular plank table used in shaping cask hoops
  • rings around – a rumpus
  • roach – coarse, rough; applied to the voice or person
  • roast – abuse or ridicule (Did I ever get a good roasting)
  • roke (reek) – heat (“I’m all of a roke of sweat”)
  • rompse – (rampse) to wrestle, to play
  • rong – step of a ladder
  • room – a fishing permises; stage, flakes and store
  • roomstuff – timber cut in the woods for stage, flakes and stores
  • rory-eyed – furious, in a fit of anger (mom was rory-eyed when we didn’t make our beds)
  • rote – a faint sound makde by waves on the shore
  • roughery – a heavy sea
  • rounders -small salted unsplit codfish; or tom-cods
  • rum one – odd; queer
  • rumpus – a noise; uproar
  • run – a narrow navigable passage between the coast and an island or series of islands
  • rutherford’s ram – a halfpenny token having a figure of a ram, issued by a Harbour Grace merchant by the names of Rutherford in the 1850s

S

  • sadogue – a fat, easygoing person, jolly person
  • sally– a willow tree or spirg from it; also to run from side to side
  • salter – member of the fish crew who applies salt in the processing of dried cod
  • sam – to stand for another and pay for his drink
  • sass (sauce) – to give abuse; impudence
  • sauce-box – a saucy or impudence person
  • scaley – mean or stingy person
  • scallop – a notch; an indentation
  • scarified – frightened; terrified
  • scattered – occasional (“they were catching a scattered fish down at the brook”)
  • scoff – a good meal
  • scolly (scully) – a wide rimmed cotton hat, with drooping peak in front, used by women; an exaggerated sun bonnet or “Dolly Varden”
  • sconce – a tin back for a lamp or candlestick; also the head of a person
  • scrabble – to scramble; a struggle to pick up first
  • scranned – benumbed with the cold
  • scranny (scrawny) – thin; meagre
  • scuff – a dance
  • sculp – the skin and under layer of fat seperated from the carcass of a seal.
  • scun – to scun a sealing steamer is to direct her course by ovservation fromt eh crow’s nest or barrel at the masthead, where the best leads through the ice are picked out and signalled to the bridge; also, to join nets or linnet together by stitching the edges with twine
  • scut – a dirty, mean person
  • scutters – diarrhea
  • scrammed – numb with cold
  • scrap – to fight
  • scrape – a narrow path down the side of a hill, worn by passing cattle; or made by an avalanche of the soil
  • scraub – to erase; delete (“if my name’s on that petition, you scraub me off”)
  • scrawb – to tear with the nails
  • screed – a bit of clothing (“not a screed on him” Naked)
  • screedless – poorly off, generally, or having nothing of some particular thing
  • scrimshank – hesitation to avoid an issue
  • scriny – to spare; to pinch
  • scribbler – a note book
  • scroopy – squeaking boots (which because they are new indicated a degree of prosperity. “after a big haul of seals you “couldn’t hear your ears in church with scroopy boots
  • scrouge – to press one against another in a crowd
  • scruff – the back of the neck; rubbish (“applied in contempt to worthless, unlikeable or abnoxious people”)
  • scrumptious – wondeful; fine; imposing; excellent
  • scrunchions (scrunchins) – crisp-fried pieces of salt port or fatback; the residue in a cask or boiler of cod livers or seal fat after the oil has been drawn off
  • sed – a fine line used with smaller fish hooks, for catching squid
  • seel – to wainscott a house
  • sennit hat – a fisherman’s summer hat made of birch rind strips
  • sess – invitation to a dog to run and attack an enemy
  • sewant – even; regular
  • shard – a nick or gap in an edged tool
  • shaugraun – a vagabond state
  • shave knife – the sharpest cutting knife in the kitchen
  • sharoused – nonplussed
  • shim – a wooden sliver for peeling rinds off trees
  • shinanigin’ (scrimshankin”) –
  • ship – to employ or be employed. From being used in connection with employment at the fishery, the word has passed into general used for any capacity, where a written agreement of service is made.  “Shipping Paper” was used for practically all seasonal employment by the planter or merchant; for fishermen, shipbuilders, maids, etc
  • ship out – to limb out a tree. Said of anything which has lost part of its paraphernlia, e.g. a vessel, having lost some gear, or a man having has his clothes badly torn
  • shit-picky – a person who don’t look too well
  • shoars – stakes or posts
  • shock (shough) – a smoke of the pipe (“I’ll go after I have a shock of the pipe”)
  • shooky – shaky (said of a tree or a defectve board)
  • shooneen – a coward; a self seeker; a double dealer
  • shop-beer– beer bought either at the liquor or beer store (not homemade)
  • shoot (skute) – a narrow, steep lane
  • show – used in the scene of “Give it to me”. “Let me see”; a movie at a theater (let’s go see a show)
  • shuck (chuck) – a call to pigs repeatly and often
  • shule away – to move away backwards; to slink off, especially if from discomfiture of some sort
  • sid – saw (“I sid ‘en”)
  • side-wipe – an insult; and indiredt censure
  • sieves – small kind of onions or sprouts of the same
  • sight – a great quantity (used ironically “look at the sight of you”)
  • sign – as in the expression “A sign of fish” (“there was a good sign of fish”).
  • sin – anything unfortunate, unpleasant or unfair done to a person (he’s having such a hard time bring up his kids; “what a sin”) also, “that a sin for you!” is a common mild admonishment
  • sish – ice broken into particles by surf
  • skoat – push or pull hard
  • silver thaw – the coating of ice formed on trees in the spring by a frost following quickly on a thaw
  • sish – finely pounded ice on the foreshore
  • sketch – a slight touch; contact; acquirement or experience (“George had a sketch of paralysis last fall”)
  • skirr – to secour the country; to hike
  • skool – to cry warning on the coast when the herring strike in
  • skut – a term of contmept for a mean person
  • slane – a spade-like implement for cutting turf
  • slantindicular – slanting, referring to a post or crane
  • sleeveen (slieveen, sleveen) – a deceitful or mischievous person; a sly person; a hypocrite
  • slew – t move to one side; to turn around; to cruise on foot; (“I’ll take a slew around the pond before going to bed
  • slicker – a hook with lead around it for quick sinking; a dapper
  • slide – a sled
  • slip – a wooden structure to slide your dory or boat out of the water
  • slippeens (step-ins) – woman’s panties
  • slinge – to stay away from school or work; to shirk duty; to mooch from school
  • slob – ice newly frozen; a dirty person
  • sloo – ice newly frozen
  • sloven – a long low horse cart
  • slu (slew) – turn
  • slub – the gelatinous substance on the outside of fish before washing
  • slush-boots – galoshes for women
  • slut – a large tin tea-kettle
  • small – refering to the age of a young person; he was very small (young) when I saw him last
  • smart – in good health; clever
  • smidge – a stain
  • smatchy – mouldy; unpalatable (meats insufficiently salted)
  • smerte – to pain; smart or suffer from a wound or cut
  • smoochin – hair oil used by men, formerly called Bear’s grease
  • smudge – to smear or soil
  • snaggle-tooth – a tooth growing out of line with the others
  • snarbuckle – a hard knot, burnt to a cinder
  • snaz – an old maid who likes to poke her nose into everybody’s business
  • sneeks – sneakers, running shoes
  • snig – to cut off a small piece
  • snot – a word of contempt for an insignificant person
  • snug – well-off (“a snug person”)
  • soak – to walk along heavily and slowly
  • some – very good or excellent; “we had some scoff”
  • son – used frequently as a nickename; or in friendly salute
  • sook – a whiney person
  • sound – the tegument covering the back bone of a codfish on the inside (the sond bone). Sounds are often stripped off the bones when fish are split, salted and dried for food. Their textgure is tougher than the rest of the fish
  • sour-ass – a used condom
  • spalls (spawls) – broken-off bits or chips of stone
  • spalleen – a hardy boy, satisfied to dochores for small pay or his meals; a day laborer
  • spancel – a cord tying the for leg and hind leg of an animal; yoke of a goat
  • span-new – brand new; unused
  • sparbles – bottom shoe tacks; small brads used by shoemakers, especially those set in the soles so as to project a little for gripping when walking on ice or wover logs
  • sparticles – sparkles; spectacles
  • spaugs – big, clumsy boots or feet
  • spell – a rest (if you are too tired take a spell)
  • spile – a peg for a hole in the cask
  • spiflicate – to dismay; to stupify (“spiflicated”), used to describe a drunken man
  • spillar – a net or seine to catch mackerel when they frequented the coast a hundred years ago; a line of bultows for cod fishing
  • splatch – to bespatter
  • spleen – an attack of despondency; the “blues”
  • splits – firewood, kindling
  • splitter – member of a fish crew who cuts out the back or sound bone of the cod fish and opens the fish to the tail for salting and drying
  • splotch – a speck of dirt
  • sprayed – chapped by exposure to cold, usually said of the hands
  • spudgell – a bailing bucket
  • spurt (spirt) – a short period of time, or short period of rest
  • spell – a rest, taken during work or from carrying a load (“to take a spell”)
  • squabby – soft as jelly
  • squalmish – queasy
  • square – a lady’s scraf, usually worn on the head of person
  • squat – to chop two flat faces on opposite sides of a rail of piece of timber
  • squid squalls – umbrella-like medusae floating on the surface of the sea during squid season
  • squile – to turn over a shoe on the foot; to throw anything without aim
  • squish – sound of waters exuding from boots; out of alignment
  • stall – a rag covering for a sore finger or thumb (thumb-stall, finger-stall); bandaid
  • stamps – issued stamps to fishermen to collect unemployment insurance
  • staneen – a water key made from a piece of log.
  • starn – your behind, buttocks
  • starrigans – young fir trees
  • start – a fright (“you gave me such an awful start”)
  • steady – a small lake or pond; a wide still brook where no current is visible
  • steeve – to walk softly
  • stick – to victimize in money transactions (to fail to pay the summer’s account is to “stick the merchant”); to stick object on something (to stick the tea pot on the stove)
  • stim – a ray of light
  • stingo – strong tea
  • stog – to chinse moss between the logs in a log house to keep out the draught (wind); to be caught in a boggy ground
  • stiffening – the counter of a boot. The click
  • stopple – the stopper of a bottle
  • stout – a large black fly that gives trouble to fish curers in summer by depositiong its eggs on the fish
  • strad – a fine flexible cut of calf skin leather for hand-making long fishing boots
  • strapped – desperately short of money; hard up
  • streel – an untidy person; term of contempt for a lazy or slovenly woman
  • strouters – posts at the end of a fishing stage
  • study – steady; prudent; carful
  • stun-a-bull – dunchy or heavy cake
  • stun-ass – a person who has done something stupid
  • stun – foolish or naïve; stuid fellow
  • suckews – a whining and looking for approval person
  • suent – smooth, graceful
  • sugawn (sugaun) – a rope made of twisted hay or straw
  • sunker – a submerged rock over which the sea breaks
  • summer moles – freckles
  • sunburnt (saltburnt) – deterioration of codfish in process of cure, from too much exposure to the sune and excessive use of salt
  • sunhounds – yellow streamers round the sun, regarded as certain indications of bad weather
  • sunker– a dangerous rock or shoal having only a few feet of water on it at high tide
  • swamp – to swamp a road or path is to build on with a bedding of boughs to be used in hayuling slide loads of wodd in winter
  • swat – a large quantity
  • swatch – “to shoot seals in pools amid ice floes”
  • swally – a small sip
  • sweat pad – part of a horse harrnes
  • swig – to drink from a handled bottle
  • swinge – to singe, to char
  • swingle-tree – the wooden bar at the end of a horse’s traces
  • switchel – cold tea
  • swodge – used of a swelling or bruise (“that’ll swodge away in a day or so”)

T

  • tacker – waxed hemp for sewing boots
  • tackle – to harness a dog or hourse
  • tacklin’ – a dog’s harness
  • take – a person, generally a bit soft who get angry ro abusive when teased with a nickname or on account of some weakness or defect (“call the person “Foxey” and he’ll take right away)
  • take off – to mimic
  • tale – to a trap for game; also teel and tail
  • tally – to reckon, the figures so taken; to tally up one’s account
  • talqual – the good with the bad; talis qualis
  • tansy – a tiny, eel-like fish living in small salt water pools on the beaches, called “tansy ponds”
  • tant – tall and slender, as trees and spars
  • tantem– side by side
  • tailor’s bib – a woman’s clitoris
  • tap – water fawcett
  • taps – soles of shoes
  • tare – a great hurry; eager, brisk action; to go on a drunk (“that fellow was on a bad tare last evening”)
  • tear all – an energetic person
  • tayscaun – a very small portion (a person would say:” would you give me a tayscaun of cake”)
  • techy (tetchy) – peevish, cross;
  • teeny – very smally; tiny (“a teeny piece of pie”)
  • teeveen – a patch on a boat
  • tetties– teats; human paps
  • thatch (tatch) – clothing
  • thole-pin– a wooden peg holding an oar in the rowlock with a with
  • thong – a latchet or bootlacve; fong
  • thorts – seats of rowers on a boat, thwarths
  • threaten – to intend (“I’ve been threatening to go to the mainland”)
  • thrummed – whistled
  • thurt – across
  • tickelace – a kittiwake
  • tickle – a narrow waterway between two islands or between an island and the mainland
  • ticklish – uncertain
  • ties – slices of potatoes fried in pork fat and/or lard
  • tilt (telt) – a long house in the woods; a tent; a temporary shelter
  • time– a dance or social event, refering to a dance or card game (having fun), ie., are you going to the time tonight
  • titivate – to adorn exceedingly fine
  • tits-up – a person who fell down
  • tiss – to kiss; to make a hissing noise when being cooked on a pan
  • tissic – a tickling cough
  • tol – tolerable
  • tole – to entice with bait
  • tolt (tor) – an isolated conical hill
  • tommy noggin – the swinging frame part of the scales on which a barrow of fish is placed in weighing; the “jig”
  • tongue banging – a scolding
  • top-sawyer – a hero; a leader
  • touton (toutan) – dough fried in pork fat (usually done after a mixen)
  • torment – to pester or bother someone
  • tote – to drag or carry; to traile
  • townie – a person from a city in Newfoundland
  • traipse (trapes) – to walk around unnecessarily or in a slovenly manner; to be “gadding around”
  • trauneen – something trifling; a blade of grass
  • train – cod oil (generally heard in the phrase “tain oil”)
  • train oil – cod oil, rendered from cod livers decomposed in the sun in barrels
  • trenching – the second hoeing of vegetables (potatoes or other root vegetables) after they have sprouted avove the surface.
  • trennale (trennel) – a stout wooden pin
  • tricker – trigger of a gun
  • trig – well in health; neat, very active
  • trouncer – a bar of iron, stick of wood, grapne, etc., used to thrash the water in order to drive fish into a net or narrow gulch
  • trowses – tight drawers under the hose
  • trimmin’ – to be physically punished, spanked hard
  • truck – payment for fish by merchandise
  • truckle (gig) – a home-made hard cart with small solid wheels
  • trunk hole – a trap door in the floor of a stage through which fish offal is thrown away and water drawn up in a bucket
  • trunnel (trenail) – wooden peg in a plank
  • tuckamore – a low clump of trees
  • tug – a contest
  • turn – a load, especially of wood; two buckets of water carreid with a hoop are a turn
  • tussock – a small grass-tufted hillock
  • tutor – to arrange something
  • twack – to examine goods and buy nothing
  • twig – to catch a meaning; to understand; to take a hint
  • twit –  to recall the fault of another by good natured joking

U

  • umber – a paint of brownish color
  • unbeknown – unknown
  • underskirt – a lady’s underwear (slip)
  • unemployment boots – rubber boots bought when fishermen started collection unemployment insurance. They were made of green rubber, with 4 holes at the top with yellow laces
  • unpossible – impossible
  • upper storey – the head

V

  • vagabone – used here for a scoundrel
  • vamp – hand knit wool sock, short sock
  • vandue (vandu) – a sale by auction; French for “Vendu”
  • vang – fried salt pork
  • var – dried fir
  • venom – impassioned determination; anger
  • venemous – virile, strong, vehement (“a venomous person to work”); angry
  • vex – angry or annoyed

W

  • wap – a blow or stroke; a bee
  • water horse – vat or container used to wash salt fish
  • wattle – a small slim fir
  • warm flaw – a sarcastic name for a weak or undependable type of person; unable to partake in work
  • washboards – board fastened on edge of a boat for more free-board
  • waterfall – bunch of hair gathered at the back of a woman’s neck when hairnets were in vogue
  • water haul – when a net or seine is hauled and found to contains no fish, it’s a water haul; apllied to failures generally
  • water horse – codfish, taken out of the vats, barrels or stacks where it has been salted, washed and set to drain, before being spread out to dry in the sun
  • weasand – the throat
  • wee gee – a sudden, hasty turn
  • welch – to fail, to lack courage
  • whelping grounds – a place where seal give birth to their pups
  • whisgigging – whispering and giggling in such a way as to annoy, especially the older people
  • whist – keep silence
  • whitenose – a youngster who has graduated in the school of winter experience thus: himself not knowing how severely frost could freeze and whiten his nose, his companions kept him in ignorance till he suffered the ordeal “unknowest.”  They enjoyed the joke at his expense, and surprised him by applying snow to the part. Then, with a clap on the back, told him he was a youngster no more but a whitenose
  • whitings (white ends) – a tree from which the rind has been removed to cover dry fish
  • whore’s eggs – sea urchins
  • wicked – something or someone amazing (he wicked at playing cards)
  • wigs – something suspected though not yet apparent (“there’s wigs in that story that you are telling”)
  • windle – a bird (redwing)
  • witlow (whitlow) – inflammation around the fingernail
  • wizen – the throat, the gullet
  • wobby – a bird of the snip family whose ululating cry on a summer evening is said to presage rain
  • wop – a blow from a blunt weapon. A bee or wasp
  • wommel – a bit and brace, an auger
  • wrinched – sprained foot or ankle

X

Y

  • yaffle – an armful of dried fish
  • yap – noise, talk (“not a yap out of you, now!”); to retort angrily
  • yaup – a cry or a shriek
  • yarry – rising early, alert
  • yawp – to yawn with weariness or hunger
  • yarkin – lines to fasten a net to a head rope
  • yary – rising early, alert
  • yean – giving birth to young by sheep
  • yer – here
  • yeses – earthworms
  • yoi – in this place
  • youngster – the term applied to the young English and Irish apprentices to the fishery. They were generally engaged for two summers and the intervening winter for about 18 pounds, their keep and a pair of long boots or a small child
  • youse – referring to more than one person
  • young stump – a term of reproach for a girl
  • younker – a young person
  • yuck – to vomit
  • yule-clog (yule-log) – a Christmas log, a backjunk

Z

  • zock – a blow, a sock

 

see also – Newfoundland Sayings

Bibliography
 
To the people of NL who have contributed their beautiful colorful language to the world
Devine’s Folk Lore of Newfoundland (September, 1937)
Clarissa Smith (Broken Wings)
Historic Newfoundland and Labrador (Published by Dept Of Development  and Tourism of NL)
Fat-Back & Molasses (by the Family of the Rev. Ivan F. Jesperson, St. John’s, Newfoundland)
Our Province Newfoundland and Labrador (Frank Cramm/Garfield Fizzard) Pilot Edition
Dictionary of Newfoundland English

 

 

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