Newfoundland Words and Phrases


Dialect has it's place not only in our community, but all over  Newfoundland. Words and phrases like the ones below use to be part of the daily dialect between residents.

Today however, this part of our heritage is not as prominent and distinct as it once was but many of us can still whip up a sentence that will leave the best scholar trying to decipher the context of what we meant. For all you fellow Newfoundlanders out there, you will enjoy reading these. For everyone else, this will be like your first spelling test. If someone you know is a Newfoundlander and you sometimes can't understand them, you may use this as your reference to find what he/she is saying. 

So, if I am missing any (there are plenty) and you have the time to send them to me, I will add it. Also, check out the Newfoundland ComPuter Wurds section by unknown author!

Words and meanings:

•Angishore - a weak miserable person.

•Ballyrag - to abuse.

•Ballycater - ice formed by spray on the rocks.

•Barmp - Toot your car horn. (Hey Tom, why did you barmp your horn at me?)

•Biniky - ill-tempered.

•Biver - to shiver.

•Blinker, Blinker - sound your vehicle signal lights make. (Hey Tom, turn on your blinkers)

•Blear - to complain loudly.

•Chucklehead - a bright person.

•Chinch - to stow tightly.

•Cuddy - a covered space in the bow of a boat.

•Douse - to give a guick blow, "douse the fire"-put it out or "don't make me douse you on the head"

•Drash - to pluck or pull quickly.

•Duckish - the time between sunset and dark.

•Dwai - a short snow shower.

•Faggot - a pile of half-fried codfish.

•"tap"(fawcett).

•"clit" ( tangles in your hair). 

•"taps" (sole of your shoes).

•Ferks - the crotch of pants.

•Starn - your behind.

•Bridge - porch or veranda, back step.

•Shit-picky - person don't  look too well.

•The Reckly - soon

•Bumbuy - Later on

•Slu or slew - turn

•Maul Mouth - a screecher

•Glom - to grab

•Rodney - a Punt

•High Rat - Three Handed Punt

•Water the harse - give water to the horse.

•Lassy - Molasses.

•Flux - to Haul quickly

•Flice - to throw


Phrases:

•Long may your Jib draw - A good wish for the future.

•May snow is good for sore eyes - An old legend, many say it's true.

•Tom Long's account - To pay what you owe and have nothing left.

•Wait a fair wind, and you'll get one - Await and opportunity.

•Mucked her off to the hospital - Took her to the hospital.

•The older the crab, the tougher his claws - It is not easy to fool a sophisticated person.

•You are taking a rise out of me - Your flattery is only for the purpose of making others laugh at me.

•You can't tell the mind of a squid - This refers to an unreliable person, a squid can move backwards or forward.

•You are as deep as the grave - Your real feelings are not easily judged from your appearance.

•The old dog for a hard road - Experience easily overcomes difficulty.

•Tis not every day that Morris kills a cow - Favorable opportunity comes but seldom.

•The devil to pay and no pitch hot - Unprepared for emergency. To "pay a boat" meant to put hot pitch over a seam between the planks.

•Fair weather to you and snow to your heels - Good luck on your way.

•Come day, go day, God send Sunday - Applied to a lazy person.

•A fisherman is one rogue, a merchant is many.

•All mops and brooms - This refers to an untidy condition of the hair.

•You are like a fish out of water.

•A gunshot away - A short distance, about fifty yards.

•Take Care - means to say good-bye

•'ow she cuttin dere by'e - How are you??..

•where she longs at - where's u from?

•u gotta face only ya mudder could love - your ugly.

•'ow she gettin on dere cocky - how are you??

•i'se da by'e da bulid da boat, not.. ur's da by's dat sails er!..

•yur stund as me arse - your not too bright.

•" i dies at u"- meaning your some funny person .

•something under your pinny(apron) - having a baby.

•Cold enough to skin ya, Hot enough to poison ya - really cold or too hot.

•Jumpin dyin - upset with something not going the way you want.

•go on by! - You sure?

•yes by!

•you don't say - go on by!

•ow's ya gettin' on maid? - How are you doing?

•LUH - I told you so!

•go awn wich ya - Really!

•ya got more tounge that a logan - You have a big mouth.

•more lip than a coal bucket - Person with a big mouth.

•Blabber tongue - Person with a big mouth, can't keep a secret.

•"Darker den a cow's gut" - Really dark, and you would ask "and how dark is that?" 

•wus ya born on a raff? - Are you stupid?, meaning " Was ya born on a raft, Close the door, it's cold"

•Lard tunderin' ders more slang in nfld den der is icecaps on da water!

•out on the neck, down da arm, up the shore - No one goes by street names.

•pass da tumbler over der on da slab  - Meaning pass the glass from over on the counter.

•Get that thinganabob - Like your suppose to know what a thinganabob is it could be anything. 

•stay werr you're to ,I'll come where you"re at! - Stay were you are and I will come to where you are.

•The doors not an arse hole, it doesnt shut it self - Meaning shut the door behind you. 

•"put it on the stan" (kitchen counter)

•"that is some squish" (notstraight).

•We gotta keep the lingo bye's, shes easy to loose out here. 

•blowed up like a blood poison cat - A person who has gained weight from eating too much.

•you looks like you've been " hauled through a knot hole" - You look worn out and tired. 

•"Deef as a cod." - Cod actually have ears,  "when I didn't hear her or ignored her she would tell me "Bye(boy), your deaf as a cod."

•may the wind aways blow in your back - good luck on your way, wished good fortune.

•so more it was (yes you are right).

•not a bad bit nice (it's beautiful).

•nare one here (don't have any, nare meaning none).

•"Who ownes you?" - Who are your parents and what are their names?

•"Go play outta around the door." - Generally said to your kids when they are asking  for 'something to do", to go play outside!! 

•'Bottle of drink' - A bottle or can of pop (for all those mainlanders).

•hes some nesh.... - The person is very timid or hes a wimp.

•How ya doin me old trout? - How are you doing. Usually said by family.

•Your on nish ice there b'y - meaning the ice is not strong, dangerous.

•"You can take the boy out of the bay but you can't take the bay out of the boy" 

•Da skitters are some tick by'e - There are a lot of mosquitos about.

•Jesus iddn dat stun!!!!! - Someone not too bright,

•Lard dien' dumpin' - Jesus-Oh my god!!

•shit hit the fan - After that, everything became a mess.

•The bottom feel out of her - it all went wrong.

•"How's the young fella'?" - How is your son? 

•"Catherines solo on the tickle" - The ferry "Catherine" is making the crossing back and forth to alone .

•"shag it!" - Meaning forget it.

•"best kind" -Meaning great.

•who you looks for me love, come in before you get the bivers - who you looking for, come in before you get cold.

•lard-god-me-child-some-good-ta-see-ya - Good to see you, usually your grandmother says this.

•some-nice-piece-a-stuff - Something that is good, car, clothes, women.

•Hows she cuttin'? - If used when cutting wood, it refers to the chain on the chainsaw and it's sharpness.

•God bless your cotton socks' - Thank you.

•Ol' Slut - An old flat bottomed kettle.

•He's bout half cut .. - He's very drunk.

•"you best be coming back" - You better come back.

•One of them mornings your going to wake up dead.

•She's goin a be some vexed wit ya - He's going to be angry.

•How's ya getten on now - How are you.

•Proper ting bye - Your doing the right thing.

•Take care me ducky/me love! - Wishing well to a girl.

•Yes bye! - ya "yes bye, I can meet you at the warf at 5am"

•Gone right out of 'er! - Being very Drunk.

•"B'ye if you shoot that it will be line nawing on a mud flap!! - If you shoot that moose, the meat will be tough.

•By',..she's got a face on 'er like a burnt-boiled-boot! - Ugly.

•Ye fellas can figr' that one out! - Leave it to you fellows to figure something out.

•chummy- it can be anything that you want an object to be when you cannot remember the name for it.


And Many more:

slew around -which means turn around.

" Put da side back in 'er b'y my son"

Meaning roll the window in the vehicle up.. 

"She's some lop on da pond, buddy what?"

This is said by some Newfies I have met and known. It is used when it
is a rough day on the water. Lops signifying the waves, of course.
And a pond being any body of water, including the ocean.

More lip den a coal bucket- Talks a lot
Roads is like de bottle- slippery with ice
dat's wicked- that's great
Spot on buddy- exactly

Old folks would warn about dating red headed girls ( I think
partialy because they thought they were probably Catholic) They would
say to "Mind now me son, don't you be at dem foxy heads now. Ya
knows dere nuttin but spite cats" Some are still stuck in her
ways God bless 'ter 'arts

what's yah got in your mouth me old cock. 

I misses ya me dear. 

you know where so-so lives
ah, he lives a couple of gunshots down the road,can't miss ere
by.

mudder- go to store for six coke by
meself- what kind
mudder- 3 pepsi,2 orange and rootbeer
meself- nottin else

he,s a hard case bye.;herd this one all over stephenville. 

Ya look like a streel! Means you are untidy. 

How yah gettin on me cocky!!! 

Boil up da moose b'y, an we'll have a scoff & scuff. Sing out to
'em for da feed or I'll get out me split an crack ya on da arse, ya
little frigger ! 

When I was growing up I always used to hear mom say, 
"one of these days you'll wish your cake, dough"
I used to tease her and say, "cake was never dough, it was batter"

It was only after I grew up that I learned exactly what she ment by,
"one of these days you'll wish your cake, dough". It means that once
something is finished you can't go back and change it, no matter how
much you want to, so pay attention and make sure you "measure" your
actions and deeds to get the outcome you desire.


A Cracky is a small dog that Barks his head off.
See ya da once! 

thats it see by,its all you can do you know.i dies at you.

Lug'
example"I will lug the wood in the house for you...etc.etc 

Get a'board!! = asking someone to get into a vehicle...

Screw up the window!! 
hot enough to skin ya!!

you gotta face on ya like a hens arsehole in the north west winds.-
orth west winds. 

Scarce as hens teeth. (meaning there is none.) 

a fish stew with potatos and onions, my dad called
it "Lobscouse"

STIFF AS A POKER (SOMETHING OR SOMEONE THAT HAS DIED AND IS
STIFF) 

BIG AS DA SIDE OF THE BARN (Someone that is very big or wide)-
big or wide) 

I'm eatin' the puty outta da windows ( not enough money for
groceries) 

Lazy as a cut dog (too lazy to move) 


goin' up along (walking up along the shoreline) 

Get out o' me sight before I gives ya a crack
(MEANING leave the room before I give you a smack) 

I spose' by (meaning : I believe so ) 

Hows ya giten on 

O me nerves you got me drove. 

Da worst ting ya can ave in yer ead is nar toot!

"The worst thing you can have in your head is no teeth".

Long May Your Big Jib Draw 

whata are ya at me son?
so where ya at now stay where you be at i'll come where ya at. 

one of my favorites that I use everyday :You gotta face on ya like a
hens arsehole in the nort west winds
Means the person you say it to dosn't look happy

another: jesus bye i'm tat hungry now I can eat the arse of a low
flying duck. 

I'll do that at the once 

Means...... I will do that right away 

"the arse fell out of er, by!"

meaning something gone very wrong. I think it comes from the idea of
the bottom of a boat just dropping off. 

Switch on the light means turn on the light.

Slew around means turn around

Back formas' means Backwards 

chomey means whatever it is you are trying to say & can't think of
the name of it. Pass me the chomey could be anything like pass me the
salt shaker..... 

I always laugh everytime I hear the saying. The turkey (or anything
frozen) is no slacked up yet. Slacked up means it hasn't thawed
yet. 

One my cousin and I used a lot in our childhood: "Mom, I'm sached!"Mom, I'm sached!"
Meaning- "Mom, I'm soaking wet!" 

Me nerves is rubbed right raw.

My grandpa always said this when he was frustrated or upset about
something ...."Lord Tundering jumpins" or "Lard tundering" looking
back on it now brings back memories lol 

"Yur some stund, Girl"...
when one makes a mistake.


take a gock at that. ( take a look at that ) 

"Shuff that in your gob" means "Put that in your mouth"

How is ya ?

YAFFLE.....
To gather an armful (dried & salted cod, kindling, black horse..etc.-
black horse..etc. 

your stunner than tom tuckers goat, he dip his arshe in the water for a
drink and then he choke on it.
had done something wrong one would say " your duff boy"

flankers- little fire sparks

that's the head! it means i really wasn't expecting thatting that 

i'm just bout skinned

i'm freezing cold 

i can't change the wind b'y..but i sure can adjust them sails me
son..... 

do you want some taken up? supper that is

when i was young my mom brushed my sisters hair and put it in plats. today
they are called braids. 

my grandmother would always say "i'll be out there da'ractly"
meaning i'll be right there.

quat down - squat down

mind now!, nice thing!, {a negative meaning hard to explain}-
o explain} 

water haul......an empty cod trap

gaffer......a fish so big you needed a gaff to haul it aboard-
l it aboard 

'all screwed up' - means messed up
'youngsters screechin' - means children crying
'copyin' pans' - in the spring, the ice along the shore would
break up into pieces and we would jump from one piece to another, and
sometimes we even slipped and fell in the water. 

i know he couldn' go i know 

pull the door to" ...close the door

i know's he but i can't place he
i know you but i can't remember your name 

,...."your sa skinny i can see da sin on
ya soul!"


you're not easy", meaning you did something extraordinary! way to
go! awesome! 

makin' out"...........when i was a child if u were "makin' out" ,
you were only pretending to do something to tease someone, for
example, if u were about to stick your finger in someone's eye and
they caught you, u would say "i was only makin" out" which translated-
t" which translated meant "i really wouldn't do that, i was
pretending to do it". 

"please be to god" was another one that if said insured that all
would be well the good lord willing. 

there won't be enough of you to pray over.

it was used as threat by your parents if you were to ever get into
any trouble. 

gutfoundered-this means you are very hungry 

"i may as well be sitting on the jiggin' rock!!!" meaning that
everyone had a serious case of the figits and it was driving my mom
nuts.

"i'm all in" meaning i'm very tired. 

"looking like a stick of gum" refering to someone (probably a woman)
who has her hair and makeup done and is all dressed up like a stick
of gum warpped up in a shiny silvery package 

"b'y da lard dy'ns" 

how are you getting on!!!!! 

he/she is 'ugly as a boiled boot'

"Penny wise, pound foolish"

"A penny for your thoughts"

"Put your two cents in"

"He's like a bad penny, always turns up"

"A penny saved is a penny earned"

"Not worth one red cent"

"Penny-ante"

"It'll cost a pretty penny"

"In for a penny, in for a pound"




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