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. 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.  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:

Phrases:

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'