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Newfoundland & Labrador

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Language

One recent visitor described the local accent as Irish meets Canadian while chewing a mouthful of cod. Well said.

Two hundred years ago, coastal fishing families from Ireland and England made up almost the entire population. Since then, as a result of living in isolated outposts, their language has evolved into almost 60 different dialects. Strong, lilting inflections, unique slang and colorful idioms pepper the language, sometimes confounding even residents.

The authoritative source is the Dictionary of Newfoundland English(www.heritage.nf.ca/dictionary), or visit www.offdarock.com, a website filled with local sayings. In the meantime, here are a few translations:

Long may yer big jib draw. Good luck.

Newfoundland Pronounced ‘new-fun-land’ (emphasized the same way as ‘understand’).

Oweshegettinonbys? Pronounced ‘how’s she getting on, boys?’ ie how are you?

Where you longs to? Where are you from?

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