Mainlander’s Guide to Newfoundland: Local Speak (NFLD Pt. 2)

Considering a trip to Newfoundland? Prepare yourself for the often thick regional accents and unique vocabulary. You may find the following helpful when deciphering the local speak:


Firstly, it’s important to know that as a visitor to the island, you will consistently be referred to as either a CFA, or Mainlander. CFA is short for “comes from away”, and Mainlander means quite simply that you’re from the mainland (i.e. not the island) or rest of Canada.

Handy vocabulary and expressions to know

Barmp – A friendly honk from the car, while idling or slowly rolling past the front of a friend or relatives house. A barmp is the car version of a door bell ring.

Example: We barmped Aunt June earlier this afternoon, but she didn’t seem to be home.

Bridge – an outdoor deck or porch

Example: It was a beautiful night for a BBQ and some drinks out on the back bridge  

Long may your big jib draw – means good luck! A Jib is a sail on a boat, and if it’s drawn then it is full of air, and therefore smooth sailing.


When you have committed to a competitive game of Bingo at the local legion (like I did!), you need to be prepared for the sometimes confusing pronunciation of words.

Trees and hates can create mass confusion for most CFA’s on a good day. “Trees and hates” – is the regional pronunciation for the numbers three and eight.

If someone is affectionately referring to their “Mudder”, they are likely talking about dear ol’ Mom.

Dem would be the pronunciation for the word “them”

When in doubt, pluralize everything  

Example: I likes dem Doritos!

Good luck honing your local speak. If you continue to follow this advice, you will speaks just like dem Newfoundlanders in no time!


2 thoughts on “Mainlander’s Guide to Newfoundland: Local Speak (NFLD Pt. 2)

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