April 24, 2024


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The Irish woman saw similarities between home and Newfoundland English

The Irish woman saw similarities between home and Newfoundland English

St. Jean, NL — Whitney McCullough always felt like an outsider in her home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, needing subtitles to understand her accent and slang. It was strange and sweet to her to find that she was so well understood in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was an invitation to open a restaurant in Northern Ireland that introduced McCullough to Newfoundland English.

“I couldn't believe it, it felt like home,” Ms. McCullough said in an interview. And everyone has been so nice. Comments are awesome. “

Ms McCullough has 173,000 followers on TikTok, where she posts videos about life in Northern Ireland and slang words from the region. His popularity on social media earned him an invitation to open a new restaurant, Mary Brown's Chicken, in nearby Lisburn last month.

The 36-year-old had never heard of the fast food chain before, so she posted a video on TikTok asking if anyone else knew about it. Newfoundlanders noticed.

Marie Browns was founded in 1969 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and later spread across Canada except Quebec. But his fried chicken and potatoes hold a special place in the province's hearts, and people have started commenting on his posts.

“I could see people talking to me the way we talk here,” Ms. McCullough said. I often go to London and they use the words I use in London and no one understands me.

One suggested the “Dictionary of Newfoundland English,” first published in 1982, to document and define some of the languages ​​spoken on the island of Atlantic Canada. Newfoundland dialects date back about 400 years to fishermen from southern England and immigrants from southeastern Ireland who began arriving in the early 17th century, according to a dictionary description on the University of Toronto Press website.

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McCullough began reading the dictionary and posting videos about the words he found there, which were also used in his own area.

Gerard Van Herck, a retired linguistics professor at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland, said the similarities documented by Ms. McCullough are intriguing. “Particularly because Northern Ireland is the 'worst' part of the island to migrate to Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said in an email.

McCullough now has several thousand followers on TikTok in Newfoundland and Labrador, and says she regularly posts videos about slang words shared in the “Newfoundland English Dictionary.”

“I think Newfoundlanders want to see that connection,” he said. As long as people find it interesting and I'm still having fun, I'll definitely post.”