Sunday, April 01, 2012

A is for Arn



My blogposts for the month of April will be part of an A-Z challenge initiated by Zombie and there will be (at last count!) 1400 of us participating.

I made the decision to base my posts on the Dictionary of Newfoundland English –and here is my first post.

“Arn” in Newfoundland means 'anyone' or 'any'.

Its opposite is 'narn' which means 'no one' or 'none'.

Consequently the shortest conversation that ever took place in Newfoundland, Canada (a province of incredible talkers!) is as follows:

One fisherman met another on the way back from the fishing grounds.
The first asked: 'Arn?'
To which the other replied: 'Narn.'
This translates as 'Ever the one?'
and
'Never the one (fish).'

11 comments:

  1. http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/1221254309/ID=2215985847
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ouch CC - too much for the lil' ol' turbo stick of mine, would love to see. I'll try tonight when I'm in civilization!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's funny, WWW. I wish I could use that conversation in real life. It would save me so many words. I would go around saying those two words all the time. xox

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is rather perfect, isn't it Irene?
    And for added effect you could roll the rrrrs.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Newfoundland equivalent of the Yorkshire Owt and Nowt?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting way to go about coming up with subjects to write on! Will be difficult to emulate though!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I want to try these out, now. They're so efficient.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In case you didn't see it, John Cowan in a comment on my blog says he suspects these words are
    'parallel to Appalachian traditional dialect ary one/nary one (pronounced "airy'un" and "nairy'un").'

    ReplyDelete
  9. Stan: You were tossed into Spam. Again. Interesting this evolution of language in two disparate areas of the world?
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
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