16 Newfoundland Slang Phrases You’ll Only Understand If You’re Fluent In Newfinese
It's a whole other language.
On Canada's easternmost coast lies the rocky island of Newfoundland. Separated from the rest of the country, there is a lot that makes this province unique but nothing more so than their language. In fact, if you've ever been there you may have wished you had a Newfoundland Slang Dictionary handy to help you understand everything that was being said. Fortunately, that's what we're here to provide.
Of course, not everywhere in Newfoundland has the exact same dialect or slang. For instance, the western and northern parts of the province have their own terms and accents, meanwhile, townies (people who live in St. John's) don't always speak like this. However, once you get "out the bay" (outside of the city) you may hear a few of these phrases.
1. Whaddya At?
This one is a typical Newfoundlander greeting which basically translates to "how's it going" or "what's up". Famous Newfoundland band Great Big Sea even has a whole song about it.
2. Yes b'y
This is your affirmative response if you agree with something. Think of it like saying "for sure." Don't let the apostrophe throw you off, just pronounce it like "by."
3. How's she gettin' on?
I have no idea why everything is female out here, but "how's she gettin' on?" is another way of asking how someone is or how the day's going.
4. Best Kind
If you love something or think it's really good you'd say it's "best kind." This one is pretty straightforward, it's the best of it's kind.
5. Come From Away (CFA)
The now-famous Broadway musical dug into the Newfoundland slang dictionary for their title. Come From Away or CFA refers to someone who isn't from Newfoundland. So if you go out there someone may tell you that you're "from away."
6. Who knit ya?
Ever heard the phrase, "my mother raised me better than that?" This is like a Newfoundland spin-off. If someone's doing something bad or acting up you could say this to be like, "who raised you?" Basically, it means who are your parents.
7. Dies at ya
If someone tells you they "dies at ya" it's probably a good thing. It's used to say that you really, really like something or someone.
8. Oh me nerves
On the flip side if someone says "oh me nerves" around you it's probably not great. This is a phrase that's used when something is really bothering you or getting on your nerves. It could also mean something is troubling you.
9. Ya got me drove
Similar to "oh me nerves" this one is not great to hear. It basically means you're driving me crazy.
10. What odds
Another one you probably wouldn't want to hear, this is typically used to say "who cares."
11. I knows you're not stunned
If you want to tell someone to smarten up this is the Newfoundland way to do so. It basically means, "I know you're not stupid."
12. Crooked as sin
Out in Newfoundland "sin" is a common way to refer to anything that's bad or is a shame. If you're "crooked as sin" it means you're acting cranky, difficult, or contrary to others.
Someone who's crooked as sin might make you feel "rotted" which is how the Newfoundlanders say they're pissed off.
This is a pretty generic term, but it refers to anyone you want to talk about but don't know personally. Like, "buddy over there in the truck." Of course, this one isn't unique to Newfoundland, but they use it A LOT.
15. Loves it
Right up there with dies at ya, "loves it" is used to describe anything that you absolutely love or think is really good. In case you haven't noticed by now, a lot of this slang involves putting an S on the end of every verb.
16. Shag it/Shagged up
Of course, what would a slang dictionary be without a swear word. "Shag it" it or "shagged up" is basically the Newfoundlander equivalent of f*ck.
Bonus: Where ya to dere b'y?
It apparently means "Where are you?".
Even if you learn nothing from this dictionary, remember this. The term "Newfie" is actually kind of offensive so if you don't want to make your fellow Canadians feel rotted when you go to visit, stick with terms like Newfoundlander or Islander, they'll loves ya for it!