Newfoundland English expressions

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Newfoundland English expressions


In recent years, the most commonly noted Newfoundland English expression might be Whadd'ya at? (What are you at?), loosely translated to "How's it going?" or "What are you doing?" Coming in a close second might be How's she cuttin'? to which one often responds Like a knife (the question/greeting is a phrase still current in the Irish midlands although it is often pronounced as cudding and rarely if ever responded to with such a literal answer).

Other colourful local expressions include:

Eh b'y: To agree with what someone is saying.
Where ya to?: Where are you?
Stay where you're to till I comes where you're at.: "Wait there for me."
Stay where you're at till I comes where you're to.: "Wait there for me."
Get on the go: "Let's go" (also, a common euphemism for partying, on the go by itself can also refer to a relationship- similar to a dating stage, but more hazy.)
You knows yourself: Responding to statement in agreement.
Yes b'y: Expression of awe or disbelief
What are ye at?: or "Wadda ya'at b'y?" : "What are you doing?"
Wah?: A general expression meaning, "what?" The length of the vowel sound varies.
Luh!: this is used to draw attention to something or someone, often by pointing. It is a variant of "Lo!" or "Look!"
G'wan b'y!: meaning, "No, really?" or "Are you joking?"
Hows you gettin' on cocky?" : "How are you today?"
Your a nice kind young feller" : "You are a nice person"
Me Son : "My Son"
You're some crooked : "You are grouchy"
Mudder : "mother"
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Newfoundland

Newfoundland was the first British colony in North America (1583) and remained in this status until 1949, when it became part of Canada. Hence, its speech is very conservative even in American eyes and quite different from other varieties of English. Newfies [], as they are commonly called, often use me instead of I, e.g. me goes shopping (Bentfeld, 1991: 96). Their dialect is rhotic and the only one dropping the h's among all the dialects of North America (Wells, 1982b: 501). To notice also the treatment of the th's that become dental plosives or even [f, v]. The vowel of but is an open o, l is always clear (!) and the most i-containing diphthongs take schwa as their first part. There are a lot of special words, too, that are widely used, so in the 10th Canadian province, tourists will need the Newfie-English dictionary (Bentfield, 1991: 96).