Sunday, March 30, 2008

Word of the Week (March 30 - April 5) dotard

Word of the Week (March 30 - April 5)

dotard n also daughter, doater, doter, etc

dotard n also daughter, doater, doter, etc [phonetics unavailable]. O Sup2 ~ 3 (Nfld: 1884); DC doter (Nfld: 1771, 1963). Common seal, esp in its second or third year (Phoca vitulina); BAY SEAL, HARBOUR ~ , RANGER.

Also attrib. [1766] 1971 BANKS 393 Incolis Harbour seal or Dotard.
[1770] 1792 CARTWRIGHT i, 30 After breakfast I went up the river again; looked at the traps; got a tub of fine sand; and killed a doater with my rifle. 1792 ibid Gloss i, x Doater. An old, common seal.

[1802] 1916 MURPHY 2 The seals upon this coast are of many species, they are classed and distinguished by names only to be found in the Newfoundland nomenclature, and only understood by the Newfoundland naturalists, Tars [ed emend: Jars], Doaters and Gunswoils and many others brew upon the rocks, in the summer season, and may be called natives.

1873 CARROLL 10 The native seal never leaves the island. When three years old they are called dotards.

1895 GRENFELL 173 When one year old the bay seal is called a 'jar seal,' and its skin is poor; in the second year it is a 'doter' and becoming speckled, in the third year, it is a 'ranger,' and is then very beautiful, being checkered silver and black all over.

1911 HUTCHINSON 111 Those [seals] that we see in the Exploits River are what they locally call 'dotter' seals—I cannot be responsible for the spelling—and look very much like the common seal about our own coasts.
1924 ENGLAND 103 Once in a while a 'jar' seal is sighted, and even a 'daughter,' as the dotard is called.

1953 Nfld & Lab Pilot ii, 253 Doater point ... the northern extremity of Alcock island. T 391/2-67 We killed one one time, me an' another feller—a doter, you know, a bay seal, we'll say. M 71-44 The seal skins used to be in great demand, the doter skins (the old seal).

1976 Evening Telegram 18 Mar, p. 6 He made reference to the appearance of seals in the Exploits estuary and the Humber River many years ago... This is a different species known as the dotar seal. They are still found in our rivers and lakes.

1977 Inuit Land Use 128 In early or mid-June, ranger and grey seals migrate north to shallow areas near rocky shores, where they haul out to bask in the sun or hide from hunters among the rocks. Old rangers (dotters) are especially clever at concealing themselves. Unlike other seals, rangers breed late (mid-June) and moult late (mid-August).

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