While the tale of the Newfoundland accent has been greatly exaggerated at times, the province certainly does have some unique sayings and words that may be new to visitors!
It’s true some of us can speak fast, and depending on the area of the province you’re in, you may hear some interesting Newfoundland accents or sayings. For the most part our language and speech is fairly normal and understandable, but there are some sayings that nearly everybody in the province uses in everyday life! The phrase “Newfinese” came about for a reason!
Here are some sayings you may hear during your Newfoundland visit:
1) Waddaya at?
In other words, what are you at or what are you up to? Though it’s a question, its purpose is more of a greeting like “hello!” and doesn’t need to be given a literal answer. Most people respond with some form of greeting such as “hello!” or a friendly applicable response such as “not much” or “this is it!”, or even a brief explanation of the activity you’re currently taking part in.
“Not much! Just headed to the store for a half-case and a bag of chips.”
“This is it!”
2) What odds?
In a more literal sense, “what does it matter?”, “who cares?”, or “no problem!” Used to imply that something is not a big deal.
“Sorry, we’re out of moose burgers right now.”
“What odds, I’ll have cod instead!”
“My boyfriend dumped me.”
“What odds, he was stunned anyway.”
3) Yes b’y!
A friendly way of showing surprise, acknowledgement, or dismissal. It can mean different things and be used in many situations, replacing terms such as “ok”, “wow”, or “no way!” This one may take a while to catch on to all of the uses, but we’re sure that you’ll be a pro after visiting!
“I lost my shirt!”
4) Got me drove
Something has become annoying. Can also be said as “driving me nuts.”
“These black flies got me drove.”
“I know, they’re driving me nuts!”
5) You’re cracked
This can be used in a funny or more serious/annoyed manner, expressing that a person is either funny or daring, not of sane mind, or causing distress.
“I got my quad stuck in a bog.”
“You’re cracked b’y!”
6) Got it made
In a somewhat-literal sense, at least for the moment, you’ve got a great life and everything’s good.
“I’m sitting on the beach, beer in hand, enjoying the sun”
“Yes b’y, you’ve got it made!”
7) Sooky Baby
An Atlantic Canadian term to indicate somebody is soft, whiny, or easily upset. A crybaby.
“It’s too cold out.”
“Oh don’t be such a sooky baby!”
Referring to honking or beeping a car horn, normally associated with anger.
“Why is this arsehole in the middle of the road?”
“Barmp your horn at him!”
There you have it, some Newfinese sayings and words you can study before visiting Newfoundland. We’re sure you’ll learn lots more on your trip! There’s also Newfoundland Texting Slang. If you’re really up for a challenge, try getting screeched-in and becoming an honorary Newfoundlander.