Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Glauvaun" sighting: Branch Come Home Year website

Well, you missed Come Home Year, I'm afraid, but you can still have a look at the Branch Come Home Year website where you'll find a lexicon of local words ("glauvaun" among them), a photo gallery, a list of things to do in Branch, as well as a selection of poems, stories, songs and recitations.

Monday, April 28, 2008

"Glauvaun" sighting: Newfoundland's Grand Banks Site

Find "glauvaun" in this Newfoundland word list on the Grand Banks genealogical site, research your family history or read up on Newfoundland expressions and weather lore.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Word of the Week at REDEFiNE iT for April 27 – May 3 : glauvaun

April 27 – May 3 Word of the Week

glauvaun n
also glabaun, glawvawn

Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

glauvaun n also glabaun, glawvawn DINNEEN glámhán 'a murmuring, complaining'; Kilkenny Lexicon glámhán.

Continuous complaining; one who grumbles.

1968 DILLON 140 'Tis the one glawvawn with him all the time. That's all that one is, a glawvawn. C 71-95 A person who is always worrying about something, usually a trivial matter, is a glabaun.

Now, we invite u to RELiVE, REMEMBER and REFRESH iT and/or even REDEFiNE iT!

The main thing is to RELiSH iT.

N.B. Any Word of the Week receiving more than 10 posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

You can do it here or visit our sister Facebook Group.

The word of the week is released each Sunday morning on the CBC Radio program Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Slob" sighting: George Allan England's Vikings of the Ice

excerpted from the Google Book Search version of George Allan England's "Log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland seal hunt," Vikings of the Ice:

The harps cling to land as much as possible, if they can manage to escape heavy ice during the early part of their voyaging. They keep a quarter to half a mile at sea, and are called "inshore" seals; but if any danger or obstacle threatens, they beat away promptly from land. At this stage they are lazy and love to bask. But the ice is always at their heels--their "scutters," rather. On the southern way they hunt and fish, till ousted by the "slob" or new ice.


Vikings of the Ice is due to be published as an unabridged audiobook in 2008 by Rattling Books.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Slob" sighting: Wilfred Grenfell's Adrift on an Ice Pan

excerpted from the Project Gutenberg version of Wilfred Grenfell's harrowing tale of survival in northern Newfoundland:

All went well till I was about a quarter of a mile from the landing-point. Then the wind suddenly fell, and I noticed that I was travelling over loose "sish," which was like porridge and probably many feet deep. By stabbing down, I could drive my whip-handle through the thin coating of young ice that was floating on it. The sish ice consists of the tiny fragments where the large pans have been pounding together on the heaving sea, like the stones of Freya's grinding mill.

So quickly did the wind now come off shore, and so quickly did the packed "slob," relieved of the wind pressure, "run abroad," that already I could not see one pan larger than ten feet square; moreover, the ice was loosening so rapidly that I saw[8] that retreat was absolutely impossible. Neither was there any way to get off the little pan I was surveying from.

There was not a moment to lose. I tore off my oilskins, threw myself on my hands and knees by the side of the komatik to give a larger base to hold, and shouted to my team to go ahead for the shore. Before we had gone twenty yards, the dogs got frightened, hesitated for a moment, and the komatik instantly sank into the slob. It was necessary then for the dogs to pull much harder, so that they now began to sink in also...


Adrift on an Ice Pan is available as an unabridged audiobook from rattlingbooks.com.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Slob" sighting: Slobstyle.com

Not up for all that cleaning in the last post? Well then, best seek out your peers, your people, your flock. Have a look at Slobstyle: a website dedicated to "the life of an average slob."

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Slob" sighting: The Happy Slob website

Tired of living in your own filth? Well then, dear friends, have a look at the Happy Slob's 3 Step Cleaning Solution.

Step 1: Two Daily Cleaning Bursts

It’s not nearly as painful as it sounds! These short ‘bursts’ of cleaning get an awful lot accomplished in as little time as possible. You’ll do two bursts a day - one in the morning, and one in the evening. The whole family gets involved for maximum impact...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Word of the Week (April 20 - 27) slob n also slop, slub

Word of the Week (April 20 - 27) slob n also slop, slub

slob n also slop, slub

Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

slob n also slop, slub O Sup1 ~ sb 1 d Nfld (1920-), DC Nfld (1878-) for sense 1, and cp EDD sb1 2 'sea-mud' Ir, DINNEEN slab 'mud'; O Sup1 sb1 4 ~ trout (1930) for sense 2; for combs. in sense 3: O Sup1 4 ~ ice (1910-), DC Nfld ([1836]-); ~ water Nfld (1952).

1 Heavy, slushy, densely packed mass of ice fragments, snow and freezing water, esp on the surface of the sea; sludge; clipped form of slob ice below; cp SISH.

1846 TOCQUE 194 Sometimes slob, or ice ground up by the action of the waves and covered with snow, is mistaken for hard ice.

1858 [LOWELL] i, 86 We couldn't get into Broad Cove, for the slob an' cakes of ice.

1866 WILSON 282 Sometimes slob, or small loose ice covered with snow, intervenes between the larger ice, on which, if the hunter should chance to step, he must be extricated by the gaff of his friend, or he is ingulfed and perishes in the water.

1884 STEARNS 152 The ice that seriously impedes passage at this season of the year [December] is called here slob. It is a thick, consistent mass of frozen salt-water that lies in huge patches all over the surface of the water from land to land.

1895 Christmas Review 12 [proverb] Before you leave the sealer's side, the ice or slub must first be tried. [1915]

1972 GORDON 38-9 Salt water ice forms in quite a different way from the fresh water variety. The water seems to thicken with a sugary-looking scum. This is gradually pressed in along the edge of the land and cemented into a tight wedge. Each day the edge of this compressed 'slob,' as it is called, extends further and further until the area of water is completely engulfed ... the process is more rapid ir more snowy and milder weather than when there is a hard frost.

1924 ENGLAND 164 Under the thrust of the stout prow, fissures and crevasses kept constantly opening, through which the sea boiled up, with tangles of slob.

1946 MACKAY (ed) 490 The Newfoundlander has developed a wide vocabulary to describe ice conditions. To him, slush, ice-rind, pancake, sludge, slob, brash, young ice, each has its own characteristic. T 169/70-651 An' there've been times years ago in the winter when [the harbour] wasn't frozen over—all this slob around [so] that we wouldn't get a mail for over a month. T 393-67 'Twas late part o' January. An' 'twas all young slob, th' ocean slob. 2 A variety of trout which frequents river estuaries.

1964 SCOTT & CROSSMAN 75 There is probably a third or estuarine form of brook trout which live mainly in the estuaries and river mouths and which go in and out of the lower reaches of the rivers with the tides. Their growth rate is intermediate between that of mud trout and sea trout. These trout are called 'slob' in Labrador. 3 Comb slob gull: eastern glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus hyperboreus).

1951 PETERS & BURLEIGH 222-3 Eastern Glaucous Gull... Local Names: Slob Gull, Burgomaster... It is well named the 'Slob Gull' for it prefers the drift (or slob) ice. When this ice is near shore the Glaucous Gulls become fairly common, and some even come into harbors for garbage and offal.

1967 Bk of Nfld iii, 283 Glaucous Gull: Slob Gull (because of its association with slob ice.) slob hauler, slop ~ : long-handled wooden implement, shaped like a mattock, used to assist a boat through a sea-covering of heavy, slushy ice and snow. T 172/4-65 We had slop haulers, that was pieces of pork barrel stave sawed off an' a hole put through it; an' a handle into it. P 148-65 A slob hauler is used to drag a boat through thin sea ice or heavy slob which makes normal rowing impossible. Two men (one on either side), each handling a slob-hauler, drag a rodney through the slob by reaching forward with synchronized strokes, digging the blade into the slob, and pulling aft. P 9-73 A pair of slob haulers is necessary for each boat, one for each of two men. They were made from a piece of flour-barrel head, the straight edge of which was between fifteen to eighteen inches long. It had a wood handle. slob ice: see sense 1 above.

1836 [WIX]2 25 There is not so much 'slob-ice' during the winter in Placentia and St Mary's bays, as in the northern bays.

1873 CARROLL 19 No matter how thin the ice is during whelping time, seals are sure to whelp on it as long as it will bear their weight, as every moment it will be getting stronger as the 'slob' or 'sish' ice drifts off the land, or drifts in from sea against the shore, pressing such ice together.

1907 TOWNSEND 281 The ice along the seacoast forms a solid highway upon which the inhabitants travel on dog-sledges ... the breadth of this strip of solid ice along the eastern coast every winter is from twenty to twenty-five miles, while outside of this is the loose 'slob' ice, which drifts back and forth with the winds and tides, varies greatly in thickness and density, and may extend fifty or more miles out to sea.

1965 RUSSELL 84 The island was locked in ice which, at its periphery, had degenerated into slob ice, a tacky mixture of half-ice, half-sludge which was impassable for man or boat.

1975 BUTLER 94 We could not see the edge of the heavy slob ice and could not be sure if we would be able to get through to the land.

1975 Them Days i (1), p. 8 When you got to these rapids, and it's freezing-up-time, it keeps ice makin', more ice, more slob ice makin', and it finally accumulates in these rapids and chokes them.

1981 Evening Telegram 27 Mar, p. 3 All three captains said the slob ice experienced during mild temperatures after the first four days at the Front off the coast of Labrador was one of the main reasons why they returned. slob water: slushy mixture of water, ice and half-frozen snow.

1952 BANFILL 75 We were thrown from the komatic and stood waist deep in icy slob water.

Now, we invite u to RELiVE, REMEMBER and REFRESH iT and/or even REDEFiNE iT!

The main thing is to RELiSH iT.

N.B. Any Word of the Week receiving more than 10 posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.We also invite you to visit our sister facebook group .

The word of the week is released each Sunday morning on the CBC Radio program Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.http://www.cbc.ca/wam/

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"sish" sighting: Urban Dictionary

Sish, according to the Urban Dictionary


the sucking sound with your tongue against the roof of your mouth, that is the sound of exasperation.
sishing and sighing.


sish is a word for a womens vigina juice (such as a womens semin out ov her vigina)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"sish" sighting: Sighting #2 in Vikings of the Ice by George Allan England

"A shift of the wind began driving smoke down the bogey stovepipe into the cabin. In some infernal way the spankers forced that smoke to flood the cabin with strangling fumes. I had to retreat up on deck. The cold was sharpening, new "sish" forming. Turrs flapped heavily away - ungainly black and white birds , fat-bodied and heavy of flight, with legs wide-sprangling as they laboured to rise from open leads or took fearful slides as they tried to land on new ice."

The above is an excerpt from Vikings of the Ice, being the log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt, by George Allan England, originally published in 1924.


Monday, April 14, 2008

"sish" sighting: Sighting #1 in Vikings of the Ice by George Allan England

"An' even if ye falls troo," added Uncle Tucker, the carpenter, "dat don't matter. Ye can go on workin' ahl day, an' no harm. Y'r clothes soon freezes, an' kipps ye wahym on de inside of 'em. An' at night ye thaw out by de bogey, till de steam comes out, an' ye're ahl rate. I know lots o' fellers fall in on purpose, to get a glutch o' rum."

"An' de laysses' [least] little piece o' sish [thin ice] is enough to copy [jump] on," Stirge assured me. "Dat is, sir, if you'm annyways spry!"

an excerpt from Vikings of the Ice, being the log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt, by George Allan England, originally published in 1924.

photo: 25.01.017 S.S. Adventure with sealers on ice, post-1905
from The Geography Collection
Coll - 137
Arranged and Described by Linda White and Claire Jamieson
Archives and Manuscripts Division, Memorial University of Newfoundland
September 1999

Each week Rattling Books explores a "word of the week" from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English here at the REDEFiNE iT Blog and also on the original facebook group .

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Word of the Week (April 13 -19) sish

Word of the Week (April 13 -19) sish


definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

sish n 1983 WARNER 80 How does an ocean freeze, right before your eyes? Well, first it's patches of gray slush... Ship makes pleasant hissing noise passing through. Germans call it Eisbrei, 'ice porridge'; Newfoundlanders rather onomatopoetically refer to it as 'sish.' More technically, good old British Admiralty Arctic Pilot defines as 'ice spicules and thin plates about one-third of an inch across, known as frazil crystals.'

1989 CANDOW 76 The pelts were stowed in wooden pounds in the holds, laid fat to fat and hair to hair, with crushed sea ice called 'sish' or 'salt' between each layer.

Now, we invite u to RELiVE, REMEMBER and REFRESH iT and/or even REDEFiNE iT!

The main thing is to RELiSH iT.

N.B. Any Word of the Week receiving more than 10 posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

We also invite you to visit the original facebook group where we also explore the Word of the Week.

The word of the week is released each Sunday morning on the CBC Radio program Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"pelt" sighting: Seals & Sealing Network

Both harp and ringed seals are "hair seals" which depend on their blubber as their main defence against the cold. Their pelts therefore have no underfur, and are comprised entirely of short, shiny guard hairs.
The result is what is called "flat" fur, of which hair seal fur is the longest wearing of all, much more durable than calf or antelope, for example.

Flat fur is not as warm as a "true" fur like mink, which has underfur. However, its high oil content helps repels rain, and its structure resists wind, while its porosity allows it to breathe.

"pelt" sighting: Live Pelt, by Kelly Heaton, a multimedia installation based on the transformation of 64 Tickle Me Elmo dolls

The art of Kelly Heaton exists in that place where obsession, engineering and popular culture come together. -- George Fifield for the catalogue of the 2001 DeCordova Annual Exhibition

Live Pelt, by Kelly Heaton, is a multimedia installation based on the transformation of 64 previously owned Tickle Me Elmo dolls, the popular consumer toy, into a woman’s coat. Fashioned from the toys’ pelts and electronics, the coat (entitled The Surrogate) provides full body vibration and is designed to be a substitute lover. Using Elmo as a vector to channel information about contemporary American culture, the installation encompasses moods both poignant and Frankenstein weird. The narrative investigates frontier economics, the human-machine relationship, and the technologist’s power to play with life. In all seriousness, Heaton’s sense of humor prevails.

The artist has developed eight characters to represent the various facets of Live Pelt. Desecration and fetishism are consistent throughout the narrative, which relies heavily on the historic precedent of the American fur trade. The Trapper collects Elmos through eBay; The Industrialist performs the skinning; and The Taxidermist stuffs and mounts their heads. The Alchemist solders the electronic viscera and seeks clues to the mystery of life. Other characters, The Sociopath, The Debutante, and The Fashionista, interact with the coat and its accessories at various stages in The Surrogate’s development. Btsy Rss alters the American flag to the tune of De-Star Spangled Banner, a painfully slow rendition of our national anthem performed by Pamela Z. Heaton plays some of these roles in a documentary video by Shambhavi Kaul.

Read more about Live Pelt here.

"pelt" sighting: on a blog about writing

...and your mouth was stuffed with the dusty upholstery smell of their heated pelts, and the yellow of them was in your eyes like the yellow of an exquisite French tapestry...

A Place for Strangers and Beggars
Where story tellers and friends hang out

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"pelt" sighting: Charlie Brown's Lucy Van Pelt

Lucy Van Pelt works hard at being bossy, crabby and selfish. She is loud and yells a lot. Her smiles and motives are rarely pure. She's a know-it-all who dispenses advice whether you want it or not--and for Charlie Brown, there's a charge.
Redefine iT is brought to you by Rattling Books.

"pelt" sighting: price of seal pelts down

N.L. tannery operator says seal pelts selling for about half of last year's cost

Mon, 2008-04-07 18:01.

CATALINA, N.L. - Seal hunters can expect to pocket about $33 for a top-grade pelt this year - about half the price it would have fetched last year, a Newfoundland seal product processor said Monday.

Dion Dakins, sales director for NuTan Furs Inc., said the revival of a grading system is to blame for the drop.

In 2007, without the grading system, sealers were getting $62 per pelt . The year before, competition among buyers saw prices spike at $105.

Read the rest of this article here.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Word of the Week (April 6 - 12) pelt

Word of the Week (April 6 - 12)
from our sister facebook group


Definition according to the online Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

pelt n Cp OED ~ sb1 'skin of a sheep or goat'; cp EDD sb3 for sense 2; OED sb1 3 (1903 quot), EDD sb1 3 (2) for sense 3.

1 The skin of a seal with the fat or blubber attached; SCULP n; occas the seal itself (see 1891 quot); FAT1 2.

1792 CARTWRIGHT Gloss i, xii-xiii ~ The skin of an animal with the fat adhering to it. That term is made use of for the skins of seals, and other such animals, the fat of which lies between the skin and the flesh.

[1799] 1976 HEAD 224-5 The ice ... affords the inhabitants an opportunity of going off and killing the seals in great numbers, bringing their pelts on shore.

1842 JUKES i, 273 The skin is laid out flat and entire, with the layer of fat or blubber firmly adhering to it, and the skin in this state is called the 'pelt,' and sometimes the 'sculp.'

[1870] 1899 Nfld Law Reports 338 The action was brought to recover damages for the wrongful conversion of the pelts of certain seals which the plaintiffs allege they had killed, and sculped, and left on the ice several miles from their vessel during the last seal fishery.

1891 PACKARD 444 The Hooded Seal is not uncommonly, during the spring, killed in considerable numbers by the sealers. The young 'pelt' weighs 70-80 pounds, while the old male or 'dog hood,' weighs 400 pounds.

1933 GREENE 72 Size of hide or weight of fat—both of which together, after being cut away from the carcase, form what the sealer terms the 'sculps' or 'pelts' that he gathers when in the Patches. T 43/4-64 The pelt is the fat an' the skin.

1976 Evening Telegram 19 Mar, p. 6 You don't skin a seal, you sculp them! You take the seal's pelt, fat, and hide off.

2 Mischievous boy or youth, freq in phr pelt of a tripe: DEVIL'S PELT. Cp NUZZLE-TRIPE*.

1937 DEVINE 37 Pelt of a tripe. A rascal. P 118-67 You brazen little pelts!

3 Phr in bare pelt: stark naked (P 108-70).

pelt v Cp OED ~ v2 'to skin' obs (1596, 1641); cp NID ~ 2 v. To remove the skin and the attached fat from a seal carcass; SCULP1 1. [1771] 1792 CARTWRIGHT i, 1811 pelted ten harps.

1819 ANSPACH 423 The dead seals are dragged on the ice to the schooner or boat; they are then pelted, that is, the skin with the coat of fat adhering to it is separated from the carcase.

1895 GRENFELL 200 I had two seals in my boat, and we pelted (i.e. skinned) them to burn the fat, breaking up one of the smaller boats, also, to use as fuel.

1924 ENGLAND 88 Lusty toilers are meantime, with 'seal-dog' hooks and ropes, hauling the round-seals up and in. Once on board, the men pelt these in a jiffy. T 43-64 On the ice you crack 'em on the head with your gaff, an' then you pelt 'em.

1976 Evening Telegram 19 Mar, p. 6 The seals were 'pelted' by the sealers and skinned by seal skinners.

Now, we invite u to RELiVE, REMEMBER and REFRESH iT and/or even REDEFiNE iT!

The main thing is to RELiSH iT.

N.B. Any Word of the Week receiving more than 10 posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

We also invite you to visit the original REDEFiNE iT facebook group.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Doater sighting: Will and Testament Richard Burberry of Brockham 1824

Will and Testament Richard Burberry of Brockham 1824
I give unto Mary my doater the sum of four hundred pounds. I give unto Ann my doater the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds. I give unto James my son the sum of one hundred pounds. I give unto Hetty my doater the sum of one hundred pounds and all the remainder of my estate over and above hereinbefore mentioned shall be equally
divided between my five children hereinbefore mentioned that is to say Thomas Mary Ann James and Hetty but if there should be losses by bad debts so as it should not amount to the same before mentioned then and in that case my five children shall share and share alike in the loss and my will is that my children shall be accountable for all book debts and notes of hand and all agreements of any kind the same as then and now I hereby nominate constitute and appoint John Hoe Junior of Brighton and Thomas Uwins Junior at Brockham joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament and I give them five pounds each and all reasonable expenses paid them hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time heretofore by me made declaring this and only this to be my last Will and Testament in witness whereof I have thereunto set my hand and seal this six day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen. ....

Dotard Sighting: urban dictionary


When you are in the midst of your "dotage" meaning that you are in the midst of your mental decline. i.e. you're in the process of becoming a fucking idiot.

Read more dotard definitions from the Urban Dictionary. Sad to say none of them include Harbour Seal.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dotard Sighting: Harbour Seals in Newfoundland

The Whale Release and Stranding Group Website

Harbour seal: 1.5 meters; 95 kilograms
Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) have a small round head that makes them look like a dog in the water. They are constantly on the lookout and pop up and down, staying submerged for about 20 minutes. If not frightened they often reappear with a fish or crustacean in their mouth. The harbour seal has a variety of coat colours ranging from a bluish grey to brown or tan, usually interspersed with brown blotches. Its belly is silvery white. They are found in Chance Cove Provincial Park on the southern Avalon, and may be seen anywhere around the island, especially in areas where fresh water rivers run into the sea.
The Harbour Seal is our favourite dotard.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dotard Sighting: Distribution of the Harbor Seal, Phoca vitulina

"The origin for the name "doter" or "dotard" for older seals is not known."


Distribution of the Harbor Seal, Phoca vitulina Linnaeus, in Canadian Arctic Waters
Arthur W. Mansfield
Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 48, No. 2 (May, 1967), pp. 249-257
This article consists of 9 page(s). View Article Abstract

Tuesday, April 1, 2008