Newfoundland & Labrador is a place I call home, a place of natural beauty. The more I travel and live away from home, the more I realize how unique Newfoundland & Labrador really is.
Newfoundland & Labrador forms the most easterly province in Canada and you have to get there by air or sea. Although Labrador is attached to Mainland Canada, Newfoundland itself is an island. Newfoundland is often called “The Rock” and we tend to have our own unique language that is as colorful as the land itself. We are situated in the North Atlantic that is approx. 108,860km2. The average population for the island is 520,462(estimated for 2018).
Growing up in outport Newfoundland was a little different than where my kids are growing up in the big city or “on the mainland” as we would call it. Everyone knew each others name and everyone’s heart is attached to their sleeve. You are always greeted with a smile and by a popular saying like “ow’s she getting on?” or “whadda y’at?” If you needed help with anything, someone was always there to lend a hand.
Our rugged coastline, thick forest and sheer cliffs are simply breathtaking and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Our culture is full of music, friends and stories waiting to be heard. Every event is based around food and fellowship. This place has something to offer everyone that visits or if you live here, there is so much to explore. I grew up here and this summer I visited places that I never knew existed and I was simply blown away!
Newfoundland & Labrador has a lot of history and interesting facts. Here are a few of my favorites…
-It is home to the smallest town in Canada…population 4
-St. John’s is the oldest city in North America
-Newfoundland & Labrador has its own dictionary
-It was its own Country up until 1949 when it joined Confederation
-L’Anse aux Meadows on the tip of Newfoundland is the only known site of a Norse settlement in North America
-On September 11, 2001, 39 aircraft were diverted to Gander where more than 6000 people were stranded when US airspace was shut down due to terrorist attacks. The population of Gander more than doubled but took every single passenger into their homes, schools and churches…hospitality at its finest
-The most eastern point in North America is Cape Spear
-The island has its own time zone
-Home to 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
-The accents are very similar to Ireland
-The first transatlantic signal was received on Signal Hill on December 12, 1901, by Marconi
and I could go on and on…just so many cool things!
For anyone who has been to the island or met an islander, you know that we have our own distinct language. Our language is so diverse that it changes throughout the island. Every cove or bay has its own little dialect. When you add a little Irish, a little English and a dash of isolation, you end up with a language that is foreign to the rest of the country.
Once you live away and go back, our accent is even more noticeable. When we were on the Ferry heading home, I overheard 2 gentlemen having a conversation and I just had to sit and listen to them. I’m not used to hearing such a thick accent from where we currently live, so I found it quite amusing.
One of the most common things we do in our daily conversation is to drop our H’s and add an H where it doesn’t belong. For example, “Go to the store and get me a dozen of Heggs” (eggs). Another example is when we refer to Home, we would pronounce it as ‘Ome. We tend to speak really fast and the more alcohol we drink, the faster we talk!
Here are a few common words and its meaning that you will hear in a random conversation:
Ow’s it going…How are you?
Like a smack in the mouth…when something fits well
Oh me nerves…often said in frustration
I dies at dat…I find it amusing
Your hair is like a birch broom in the fits…your hair is messy
Me ol’ trout…an endearment like “my dear”
Fly dope…insect repellent
Scoff…A large meal
A feed…not as big as a scoff
Take a gawk…Have a really good look
Crooked as sin…Upset, angry
Stuffed to the gills…You’re full from eating a lot
Racket…Making a lot of noise
Some day on clothes…sunny day
Who knit ya?…Who are your parents?
Stunned as me arse…not very smart
Arse on dat…nice bum
Stay where you’re to ’til I comes where you’re at…stay where you are until I get there
Mind yer mouth…watch what you are saying
Go on b’y…You sure?
Yes B’y…Really or I told you so
Chummy…anything that you want an object to be that you cannot remember the name of
Long may your big jib draw…May you have good fortune for a long time
You will have to visit to hear the rest, trust me, there are too many to list on a blog!
I hope you enjoy my little taste of ‘Ome and the newest adventures with