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The Newfoundland Tongue

The Newfoundland Tongue

Flanker Press


19.95 CAD

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You think you’ve heard everything about Newfoundland and Labrador, but... Have you had a meal of padre? Have you ever seen a shalandi? Have you heard of basket soup? Would you find the term dry dough offensive? You’ve tried figgy duff, but have you eaten cod sounds? Work your tongue through conversational one-liners and much more! This book is a tribute to Newfoundland’s unique culture and way of life. It explores the province’s history and folklore, placing a particular emphasis on traditional language, speech, expressions, and dialect. Read, and experience Newfoundland’s Old English and Irish roots as they come to the fore!

The Newfoundland Tongue by Nellie P. Strowbridge When I was in Cobh, Ireland, awhile ago, I started up a long hill on a beautiful March morning to make the two-kilometre walk to the Old Church Cemetery and to the graves of the victims of the torpedoed Lusitania. Soon a man with a dog caught up with me. We talked as we went along. Suddenly he stopped and looked at me, puzzled. “Ware you frum? Yer accent is all mixed up; ’tis not American nor Irish. I don’t know wha-er ’tis. I carna tell head na tail ef et.” That’s the way it is now with many of us. Though the sounds of our Ireland, England, and Channel Islands ancestors are sometimes heavy on our tongues, we are no longer insulated from outside influences. We move around so much that our forebears’ way of speaking has been turned over and mingled, and is evolving so much that there may come a time when we will have no distinct dialect. We will speak the Canadian way. Still, I believe we will always season our words with an odd turn of phrase. When we open our mouths, words dressed in colourful and delightful expressions will often pop out. The Dictionary of Newfoundland English became a precious testament to our more than 360 dialects. It awakened words and expressions I had long forgotten. Some I knew with variations in meaning. I have included words here that I hope will be added to future editions of our Dictionary of Newfoundland English. Though some words and expressions are no longer spoken, they have lived on our tongues; we may hold them and the people who spoke them in memory. Come to “the tell” as the tongue of a Newfoundlander stirs your memories to the way it was when our forebears expressed themselves in many unique ways in work and words. Some Commonly Used Expressions and their Explanations • To be between a rock and a hard place. ~ To be nipped between two difficult situations. • On pins and needles. ~ Restless, nervous. • Money will burn a hole in his pocket. ~ Said of a spendthrift. • To put ’er up. ~ Make a noise or hullabaloo. • Lapping back at someone. ~ Talking back. • Helping Larry. ~ Doing nothing. • He’s got a gut like a whipped sculpin. ~ He’s blown up. • To put the boots to someone. ~ To kick them. • To get your ticky thumps. ~ To get a punishment you deserve. • He didn’t know if he was coming or going. ~ He was confused.
The vitality of the narrative will make The Newfoundland Tongue a delightful work to dip into or pore over for tourist and 'livyer' alike.-- Atlantic Books Today --
Mixing reminiscences with long lists, Strowbridge shows a wry, self-deprecating wit and covers a great deal of ground, from customs and superstitions to weather and medicine.-- Canadian Geographic --
Nellie Strowbridge writes with freshness, humour and passion.-- The Compass --
The Newfoundland Tongue is a lively and interesting read.-- The Telegram --
The Newfoundland Tongue is a real treasure.-- The Newfoundland Herald --
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the wonderful cover to the very last page!-- Atlantic Books Today --

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About Flanker Press
Turning pages since 1994

Flanker Press is a bright spark in the Newfoundland and Labrador publishing scene. As the province’s most active publisher of trade books, the company now averages twenty new titles per year, with a heavy emphasis on regional non-fiction and historical fiction.

The mission of Flanker Press is to provide a quality publishing service to the local and regional writing community and to actively promote its authors and their books in Canada and abroad.

Now located in Paradise, Flanker Press has grown from a part-time venture in 1994 to a business with eight full-time employees. In the fall of 2004, Flanker Press launched a new imprint, Pennywell Books. This imprint includes literary fiction, short stories, young adult fiction, and children’s books.

Flanker Press Ltd.
Unit #1 1243 Kenmount Road, Paradise, NL              A1L 0V8

TF: 1.866.739.4420

Tel: 709.739.4477

Fax: 709.739.4420

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We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation for our publishing activities.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.