Sunday, February 3, 2008

Word of the Week at REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English (Feb 3-9): ballicatter

Word of the Week (Feb 3-9):


Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English ( :

ballicatter n, usu pl.

Variants chronologically arranged: ballicadoes, ballacarda, ballicater, balacadas, batlicaders, belly-carders, ballicatters, ballycatters, belly-catter, batlycadders, ballacarters, ballycater, ballaclauters, ballacaters, ballacatters, ballacader; [phonetics unavailable]. Note: Besides the printed forms noted above, there are manifold variants reported as single words, out of context, so that the usage actually employed by informants is often difficult to ascertain. A selection of these forms is as follows: ballacattle, ballicabber, ballicanter, balliclamper, belliclumper [see CLUMPER], balliclatter, ballicutter, billicatter, cattibatter. DC ballacater Nfld (1906-). See also BARRICADO, BARRICADE v, the prob source for the variants above.

1 Ice formed by the action in winter of spray and waves along the shore-line, making a fringe or band on the landward side. 1863 MORETON 29 Ballicadoes, Barricades. The banks of ice which form upon all water-washed rocks and shores in winter. 1896 J A Folklore ix, 36 Ballacarda—ice along the foot of a cliff touching the water. [c1900] 1978 RLS 8, p. 24 Ballicadre—ice formed along the fringe of the shore, or piled along the sides of a vessel. [1916] 1972 GORDON 59 Such ice-ledges, of which there are several around this district, are known by the people as 'Ballicatters,' which I imagine is a corrupted form of Barricades. The name applies also to the ice-fringe that remains glued to the edge of the shore when the bay ice breaks up and clears out to sea. 1955 ENGLISH 32 Ballycater—ice formed by spray on the shore. T 75/6-64 He landed him on Fogo Head, landed him on the ballacarter there. P 130-67 Bellycadder. A heavy shelf of ice along the shore caused by the rising and falling of the tide. 1971 NOSEWORTHY 170 Ballycatters or bellycatters. Ice on shore and rocks from waves and salt spray. C 71-129 Ballycarter. Ice around the shore-line. Usually it refers to ice around wharfs, stages and ballast beds. The ballycarter remains around the shore-line after the harbour or cove is ice-free in the spring. I also heard it used to describe [iced-up] rocks or headlands where hunters went to shoot sea birds. 1975 Evening Telegram 21 May, p. 6 On this day we decided to stay from school because we awoke to a silvery world of 'glitter'—the trees looked like silver filigree and the sand dunes which reached from the sea up, looked like the highway to heaven and all the beach was one shining 'ballacader.'

2 A narrow band of ice formed in winter in the salt water along the foreshore or 'landwash'; SHORE1: ~ ICE; large slabs, chunks and fragments of this ice after break-up. 1906 LUMSDEN 61 The rocks were covered with ice, and the shore was bespread with large pans of ice, high and dry-in local phraseology, 'balacadas.' 1924 ENGLAND 96 Instinct, for these animals [bears], seems faulty. Nature obviously does not warn them of the dangers of venturing out beyond the 'ballycatters,' or shore ice. 1931 Am Speech vi, 290 Belly-catter. Ice barricade: i.e. rough ice in ridges along the shore. 1949 FITZGERALD 93 Ballacarters. Ice rafted up on the foreshore. P 114-66 He slipped on a ballyclamper, and fell in the water. 1973 BARBOUR 38 Ballacatters—this is what Newfoundlanders call the rafted pans of ice on the foreshore, unmoved by the ebb and flow of the tide.

3 A floating ice-pan. 1909 BROWNE 183 Hundreds of men were standing on the 'ballicaders' with their ropes and gaffs all in readiness. 1961 Nfld Qtly Spring, p. 43 It is sixty years since I lugged that old portmanteau over the ballaclauters up Clode Sound Reach and on and on. P 43-66 The boat struck a ballycanter. C 68-4 When the ice starts to break up into pans you'll see the youngsters 'ferrying.' Each one gets on a pan of ice (the old people call them belly-caters). 1976 Daily News 2 Mar, p. 3 Jumpin' clumpers was another favourite pasttime. In some places they call it copying on bellycaters.... All it means is jumping from one ice pan to another without falling into the water.

4 Frozen moisture around the nose and mouth; cp BALLICATTER v. 1896 J A Folklore ix, 36 Ballacarda—ice about the face.

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