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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

From Newfies to Niggers and Other Terms of Endearment

As a proud Newfoundlander it makes my skin to crawl and my blood pressure spike whenever I hear people use the word “Newfie” in a derogatory way. I’ve come to see this word in the same way I see words like “Nigger”, “Kyke” or “Polack”. Each of those words are extremely disturbing to hear, just as disturbing to commit to paper and I hope even more disturbing for you to read.

I believe the reason such words are so repulsive is that they serve no purpose other than to belittle and insult an entire group of people. Unfortunately, unlike many other words of their kind “Newfie” is still a term that remains acceptable for use in general conversation.

You often come across “Newfie” in the most unexpected places. No place is immune, the work place, business meetings, news articles and even in the comments of less enlightened government officials. Sometimes the term is used by someone who simply doesn’t realize it is offensive to many people, but more often than not it’s clearly intended to send a message. The message is that the speaker doesn’t respect Newfoundlanders in the least and that views, beliefs, or anything else related them, are insignificant and simply don't matter.

For years “Newfie” jokes have made the rounds and for just as many years Newfoundlanders have kept quiet when hearing them. Perhaps in this way, and in continuing to use the word ourselves on occasion, we’ve been our own worst enemy. For far too long we’ve let this word live and spread around the globe with all of its ugly connotations firmly in place. Perhaps it’s finally time we began saying something when we hear it used again. Maybe it’s time we stopped using the word in our own conversations. Maybe too it’s time we began educating others that it’s not O.K. to for them to use the word “Newfie” under any circumstances.

A clear case of someone using the word “Newfie” in the vilest manner was reported just this week in Western newspapers. The story related how an Edmonton police officer listed someone’s status as "newphie" on an official document while detaining them under the Mental Health Act. The officer was eventually charged with discreditable conduct and given a warning for stating in the document that one of the reasons for apprehending the person was because: "He is a newphie."

My first thought on reading this story was to wonder about the mental capacity of the officer involved, not the person apprehended. This wonderment was only reinforced by the fact that the officer didn’t even know how to spell the word correctly. Once my initial anger settled I began to think less about the officer involved and more about a system that only saw fit to issue a simple warning over the incident.

It seems no matter how hard the people of Newfoundland and Labrador struggle to improve their place in this Country there are always those who are more than willing to knock us back down, just as there are those who will look the other way when it happens.

There will always racists who continue to use the term “Newfie” for all it implies. Perhaps this officer is one of those people, though I sincerely hope he isn’t. The people who refuse to stop using the word will doubtlessly be the same ones who refuse to move away from using other derogatory terms when speaking about people outside their limited circle. Those situations I can understand even while disliking the people involved. Having said that, is it too much to ask that this one word be treated like others of its kind and for the word to be recognized as socially unacceptable to use? Is it too much to ask that using the word “Newfie” be considered taboo at the very least and perhaps even racist at its worst?

The common factor with words like “Nigger”, “Kyke” and “Polack” is their ability to lower the status of an entire people and to verbally assault those people by making them feel belittled and uncomfortable. Use of the word “Newfie” is no different than using those other words, so why is its use still acceptable in an age when using those other words is not?

There will no doubt be those who will laugh off this situation and see it as just another “Newfie” blowing things out of preportion. They will claim that Newfoundlanders are not a distinct people like some other groups so there isn't a problem. Those people need to consider the following:

1. What this particular officer did shows a clear lack of seriousness regarding the gravity of the incident he was addressing.

2. His actions show a lack of empathy and understanding for the impact such a charge might have on the person being apprehended.

3. The officer displayed a level of ignorance and racism that would likely have been addressed more severely by his superiors if a term such as “Nigger” had been used in that document.

This situation has arisen, at least in part, because of the accepted use of the word “Newfie” and all that implies. In the eyes of this officer and his superiors Newfoundlanders are “insignificant” enough that this is not a major issue for them.

If you don’t believe a simple word like "Newfie" can have that much of an impact, think about this:

In this particular incident a Canadian citizen was denied his right to freedom by a law enforcement officer partly, according to the officer’s own words, because the man was from Newfoundland. The officer's punishment was a warning.

Do I need to say more?

39 comments:

Liggy said...

I disagree that the word Newfie is a deroggatory term.It is used to identify the inhabitants of a province.Sometimes it's used indearingly,sometimes as mean spirited,depending on the context.It's no different than refering to a Nova Scotian as a Bluenoser,or a New Brunswicker as a Herring Choker."Newfie" is not a racial term,but a geograpical one.I like being a Newfie.I tell people proudly that i am one.I think you should run a poll to see how other Newfoundlanders feel about the term.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the word Newfie is not a deroggatory word in itself but it all depends on how it is used.
I've had "Hey, he's a newfie. Come over here and pull up a seat" and "But he's from newfoundland you know.. (as a guy smirks and rolls his eyes)"
Which one was worse?

CR

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of people in the province who agree with the first to comments but I dont.

When someone says, "Hey, he's a newfie. Come over here and pull up a seat" or uses Newfie in some other "endearing way" as one person put it. What are these people really doing?

They may not see anything wrong with what they are saying and you may not either but the person saying it is lumping all of the people from the province into one basket (even if it is a "nice" basket) and then building up a stereotype around who those people are and what they are like (even if they don't know the individual).

Nice stereotypes or bad stereotypes are still stereotypes. Not all people are the same but using a term like Newfie that puts them all in one box.

There are more and more people that have realized that this is not necessarily a good thing.

Glenn in GP said...

I like the term because it tells me something about a person when I meet them. The intonnation in their voice or another physical tell, while saying the word Newf or Newfie, lets me know right away whether or not I should invest any time into a relationship with this person, both personally or professionally. If you suppress an outlet for conversation or expression you are allowing hate and ignorance to fester and go un-challenged. When I meet someone who thinks negatively of Newfs, either due to stereotyping (ignorance) or a previous negative experience with "ONE" Newfie, they can either be informed or they show themselves for who they really are, bigots and racists. No matter if it is the K, N, or P word, this person doesn't discriminate here, he/she uses all of them.

Overall, I'd say from my own experience and circle of friends it is around %95 favourable and 5% the other way.(Most of 5% were Ontarians, sorry couldn't resist, just kidding, couldn't pass up the example of generalization.) The 5% gives me a chance to sharpen my edge, helps to keep me on my toes. A lot of NL's out west are in some pretty senior levels of corporations, governmental agencies and general businesses. There is a Newfie joke about their abuse of power.

A guy from BC says to his Newfie foreman in the AB oilpatch "I see it is impossible to get a Bl*wjob anywhere in Newfoundland." The Newfie foremman replies "What would give you that idea?" The BC guy says "cause all the c*cks*ckers are out here in the patch!" I damn near busted a gut when he said that to me. The rest of the crew blew out as well. I have been on other jobs with these guys and they all respect and are friendly to me. Everyone knows the individual who told the joke and he just inserts whatever demographic or cultural identity he wants to suit his racist/bigoted view. I could have run him off and made a martyr out of him but instead kept him around for everyone to see, look, look at the bigot. Lower than a tick on the belly of a snake in a wagonwheel rut. In turn I gained the respect of the other men and earned their trust. They knew they could confront me but that I wasn't a backpedaller and that I was fair.

Once again Myles, great topic, thanks.
Glenn

garth said...

I suspect the way the term is used and the context has a lot to do with the reaction. Can't imagine there is much wrong with folks from the Rock referring to themselves and their fellow Newfoundlanders as 'Newfies'. On the other hand, in the example Miles cites, and in many other cases when I've heard the term used in the rest of Canada, it was, plain and simple, racist.

So there you go. Circumstances make all the difference.

Anonymous said...

Newfie's are caucasion. Being prejudiced against people from Newfoundland because they're from Newfoundland does not make one racist. Being prejudiced against a Newfoundlander because (s)he is Caucasian would make one a racist.

If you're going to slander millions of joke telling Canucks, please use the sociologically correct terminology.

Past that minor quibble, I agree. Nobody should use the word - not because its racist, but simply because it is degrading.

Anonymous said...

A poll of the masses would be a great idea, Myles.

Whip one up and see what the consensus of our readers is. Even add it to the top of your recent article to ensure anyone who reads it is aware of the poll.

I'd say many would be interested in the results.

Bill Westcott said...

Your last two stories are making their rounds here in Florida.. amongst Newfoundlanders here for the winter and from ex-patriots who live in Ontario. ALL very favourible reaction to your work.
Keep up the good work, you are "obviously" a proud proud Newfoundlander and we need more like you hither and yon.

Bill Westcott
in Florida
(snowbird from Clarke's Beach, Nfld)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have never liked the term Newfie & and have never used it. I find the word is used and understood,in most cases, to be derogatory. Our problem is that we are to polite to tell people how we feel. I have been around people who used the word and have seen the word used in countless emails - mainly jokes, which I never forward. If a Newfoundlander feels the term is insulting, then it is.

Grand Falls-Windsor

JDW from Toronto said...

I most definitely agree that the term is derogatory and it should be banned. I had a situation occur here in Toronto that really devastated me.

My boss who physically aasulted me on the job when he made a mistake. In his rage he punched me and called me a stupid newfie. His mistake also almost took the top of my finger. He apologized to me for hitting me and for what he said. I quit the job ASAP. The punch I could forgive but what he said "stupid newfie" I could not. He obviously had no problem recalling that I was a newfoundlander when he was looking to blame someone. I could never feel comfortable working for someone who has the notion that I was stupid (when I was doing engineering work that he couldn't). I was depressed for months afterward.

People who think it is a cute term don't realize its impact when it is hurled at you as a way of putting you down. The excuse that as caucasians we can't be discriminated against in Canada is false. It is like saying you can't put down someone because they were serbian, or german. Negative stereotypes are discrimination especially when used as a way of having power over someone else. Being in Newfoundland seems to be sheltering people from this fact as well.

Anonymous said...

In response to the person that pointed out that the term "newfie" couldn't be racist because we are caucasions, I would like to hear their opinion on whether or not the term "kyke" is not a racist comment given the race of many jews?

It doesn't matter what you call it, "racism", "bigotry", "slander", "stupdity", etc. It is derogatory and should be stopped.

Anonymous said...

The term Newfy was coined by the Americans during WW2. The actual term was goofy Newfy.......it is very derogatory and a terrible , terrible word.

Anonymous said...

Just one more thing for Newfies to whine about.

Ya'll like to create issues where there are none I notice.

Alberta-Bound

Anonymous said...

Well, I for one am happy to see Alberta bound on his way. Obviously he has issues which will be with him no matter where he goes. Anger management counselling would be my advice.

Regarding the term Newfie. I have lived on the mainland for over 20 years, all my adult life. I was shocked when I first came across the negative aspects of the term Newfie. I can assure those Newfoundlanders living at home that there is no doubt that the majority of people consider the word Newfie to reflect negative connotations, implying stupid Newfoundlanders. Well, I am not stupid and had to stand up for myself. I will never allow anyone to call me a Newfie (aside from a fellow Newfoundlander, of course). I can relate so many occasions when people have used the term in my presence to indicate negativity. I worked for a firm in Montreal where, on one occasion one of my French workers said "Quel Newfie" (i.e., how stupid), after she made a mistake. The term was so ingrained in her mind as meaning stupid that it came to her mind without thought. On another occasion, during a discussion group, after I mentioned having a very "irratic boss", a lady in the group said "He must be a Newfie". Again, I was shocked. But I put the lady in her place very nicely, embarassed her to death and received an apology. I wanted all of those people in that room to know that I for one was not a "stupid Newfie". I know for those Newfoundlanders living at home, these incidents may seem minor. But you add up all of these experiences of mine (and others) and the way that the press in Mainland Canada continuously tries to "put Newfoundland in its place" and you realize that we have a big problem. We have to fight back. I fight back by refusing to be belittled and telling anyone who tries that I won't take it. I wish the rest of my wonderful Newfoundlanders living at home would do so too. Please don't let yourself be "Newfiefied". I am sorry that this rant has become so lengthy, but it is one of the banes of my existence.

Stand strong for Newfoundland. I do.

Anonymous said...

Youre all fucked There is nothin wrong with saying newfie, but if i were to say something like "all those fucking newfie cocksuckers come to our province with there bad habits, and un employed buck tooth newfie bitches who smell like cod" then that would be mean but untill then shut the fuck up go smoke your hash drink you screetch take the alberta money and shut the fuck up

Anonymous said...

You can really consider the appropriate use of the word "Newfie" comparable to something like referring to black people as "Nigger". Both terms may be used casually and inoffensively between members of the group (I have black friends and Newfoundlander friends who refer to themselves by those terms, both of which make me a little uncomfortable), but I'll suggest that it's almost never appropriate for anyone not black or not a Newfoundlander to use the terms.

Anonymous said...

If newfies weren't so stupid and embarassing to the rest of us we would be able to just call them Canadians.. but sadly years of inbreeding have taken their toll on the rock.

Anonymous said...

Well you know what we say here in Alberta. NEWFIES ARE CANADA'S NIGGER. And do you know why they killed all the Indians, because there can only be one group of people free loading off the government. They don't fuckin work cry about UI FUCK OFF your no better than these fuckin Indians in ALberta

Anonymous said...

In response to the comment posted below. It would seem that your mind appears to be as small as your penis obviously is. And just as an FYI, you might want to check your spelling and grammar next time, love.


"At August 09, 2006 9:21 PM, Anonymous said...
Youre all fucked There is nothin wrong with saying newfie, but if i were to say something like "all those fucking newfie cocksuckers come to our province with there bad habits, and un employed buck tooth newfie bitches who smell like cod" then that would be mean but untill then shut the fuck up go smoke your hash drink you screetch take the alberta money and shut the fuck up"

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

I hear your frustration but it's really not the fault of the hard-working Newfoundlanders that you're an ugly woman trapped inside the body of a man with a small penis.







"Anonymous said...
Well you know what we say here in Alberta. NEWFIES ARE CANADA'S NIGGER. And do you know why they killed all the Indians, because there can only be one group of people free loading off the government. They don't fuckin work cry about UI FUCK OFF your no better than these fuckin Indians in ALberta"

Anonymous said...

Actually there is nothing wrong with his spelling or grammar. The only mistake I see is the retard newfie(you) trying to seem intelligent by mocking this man who is stating a valid point . So on that note go back to your community college that you didn’t finish and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two, until then, GET FUCKED YOU SALTWATER PAKI

Anonymous said...

Why do all newfie chicks have buck teeth?? Its very strange

Anonymous said...

I find your blogs interesting, and I have to say, I've never thought about the term "newfie" in such a negitive light. I have been living away from home for 5 years and I have never felt like a second class citizen. I think that some older generations have a bit of a prejudiced/victimized point of view when they think of the word "newfie" and I think there are currently more positive associations with the word than negitive. I have always liked being a "newfie" and I think people enjoy newfoundland mannerisms sincerely. I've had this conversation with my "aussie" coworker, and she is of the same opnion, that people are excited to converse with her because they like her mannerisms and find it an interesting topic to converse with her about. I think Newfoundlanders have been victims of circumstance for long enough and I think we should wear our heritige and culture with pride. I think most people in Canada associate the word "newfie" with kind, down to earth, hard working people; who look at life with humor and perserverance. I think changing the negitive associations "non-newfies" make with "newfie" is in our best interest. Whining about a term that is widely know and used is only going to put power in those negitive association. No matter what words we teach eachother to use, one thing is constant; there are always going to be assholes.

-Paridise, NL

Stacey said...

Though I'd agree that newfie started out as a deragatory term, I think that these days it isn't.

Words and their meanings over time evolve and change, especially when a group "takes back" a negative word, and makes it acceptable. I'd say that the majority of people think of 'newfie' as a good, or at the very least neutral term...the last generation or two probably has no idea that it even started derogatory.

Also, I think you need to make the distinction between being derogative and sterotyping. I can make sweeping generalizations about americans, for example, (i.e. stereotype them)...but that doesn't make the term 'american' derogatory.

Proud Newfoundlander said...

I have just finished reading every comment on this page and sadly I believe that there are several people who just completely proved the writer's point by posting their disgusting, insulting, slanderous words. I am a Newfoundlander and I am currently living in the US. I love my home country and province but the one thing I have not had to deal with here - that I have come into contact with everywhere I have lived in canada - is the derogatory comments made by canadians when I reveal I am from Newfoundland.
In my second year sociology class in university we were reviewing stereotypes. The professor was married to a Newfoundlander and thought it would be interesting to throw "Newfies" into the mix when asking the class to shout out the first thing that came to mind when she named a group of people. When she said "Newfies" almost the entire class yelled out "stupid". She asked me if I wanted to stand up and take a bow. Once the people realized that I was indeed a "newfie" one girl said - but they are real sweet though - as if that would make up for it.
To all of those Newfoundlanders who believe the term is not derogatory - I am very very glad for you that you have not experienced this type of discrimination. You are lucky that you can feel good about being called a newfie. But please, because you have not personally experienced it, do not underestimate the impact of that word when it is used to put you down for belonging to a particular cultural group.
Living away from Canada I was initially so excited to meet up with fellow Canadians here in New York City until I realized the one thing that I would always have to contend with was the inevitable newfie joke or comment made about me being a newfie when I met another Canadian. The upside to living in the US is that so many people here don't even know where Newfoundland is so I can teach them all about the wonderful thing our province and it's people have to offer!

Rock said...

I had a friend out in Edmonton who had a problem: he was extremely racist against Indians, Blacks, anyone who wasn't white Christian. Really negative. But I accepted him as a friend, because he was really a nice guy to me, despite the grumbling about other races. He got killed, and I went to his funeral. I was a pallbearer. Shortly after we buried him, we were all talking together, and his sister looks at me and says "where are you from?" I replied that I was from NL. Her eyes popped open, and she said, "wow, I'm surprised he even talked to you!" True story(I contemplated urinating on the grave, but realized that it wouldn't do any good- too much urea. A nice bowel movement fertilized it well, though). Bottom line, talk is cheap. Not many Newfies encounter open prejudice against them. Unfortunately, this is because the self-proclaimed "badasses"- the demographic of people who make hurtful statements against any group of people- reserve their displays of hate when it's safe to do so. Getting an asskicking would shatter the illusion of toughness that they're tring to cultivate. These are the same guys that get "nigger" tattooed on the inside of their lip. It's rather unfortunate. But the talk is safely done behind the back- or on a message board (safe within the confines of their living room). Nice and safe.

Robert said...

I am the son of the man who wrote "Newfie Jokes" first published in 1971. If there were no appetite for the word "Newfie" and the related jokes our family would most certainly not have sold over 3 million copies of the books since their first publication.

However the word "Newfie" was first introduced to the world, we Newfoundlanders have made it our own. When you consider the over 500 years of tyranical oppression (from our history books)we have suffered it is important for a culture to develop a view that helps us to cope, strive, aspire and grow. Such is the case with "Newfie Jokes". Not everyone can take a pie in the face and laugh, however most Newfoundlanders can. This is a testament of our good spirit and nature that such cultural references as "Newfie" help to preserve. To those of you who keep the spirit of laughter intact in the context of the word "Newfie" I say to you - BRAVO! To those Newfoundlanders who find the word degrading?... GET A SPINE - our forefathers would be ashamed at your obvious lack of strength which is what laughing at oneself is all about.

Anonymous said...

I think that the term Newfie, like any term that could be used degradingly, is just fine being said in the proper context. Personally, I would be the first to say I'm a Newfie, but only to another Newfoundlander or to somebody who I knew wouldn't use it against me. If I was unsure about who I was talking to, and they asked me where I was from, I would be more likely to say that I was a Newfoundlander (and damn proud of it.)

Somebody I know was talking to a friend of hers (this friend had moved to the main land a few years back)who had a young son. She was living in Southern Ontario, and one day her boy came home from elementary school, and told his mom that he had made a mistake in class, and one of his classmates called him a 'stupid Newf.'

Stories like this, and stories like the one with the cop mentioned above, are the stories that make it obvious that the term Newfie is not always just a joke.

Newfoundlander! said...

According to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. '
So therefore the definition of racism applies to the word 'Newfie'. I am from Newfoundland and loathe being called a newf or newfie and am quick to point out I am a Newfoundlander not a Newfie. I don't even want a fellow Newfoundlander to call me one of those words. It is the same problem in the African-American community. Nobody takes the word back because as long as you use it everyone else will use it.

xjsjag said...

Let me just say that I found this argument to be refreshing. I'm not a Newfoundlander by any means (I'm not even Canadian) but some of my greatest friends are Newfoundlanders and the first thing they taught me (other than telling me I need to visit them and get screeched in :P) was that you do not call Newfoundlanders "Newfie's" in any capacity. They use it occasionally among themselves, but it just seems to be one of those unspoken rules of the culture that "outsiders" need to respect them as being Newfoundlanders. I'm not sure if I could comment on it being racist, but hey, if someone or a group of people do not want a "nickname" then that should be respected. I for one would not use the term with my Newfoundlander friends and I think anyone who truly understood the issue (as so many don't) then it would be easier for the term to disappear. Once again, thanks for the great argument.

Gambolian said...

I agree 100%.Like you I am a Newfoundlander not a Newfie.I despise the word and always have.I Live as a Newfoundlander and always have.Joey said one time that you only have to tell a Newfoundlander something once but you have to tell a newfie the same thing 3 times.First you tell him then you tell him you told him then you have to tell him again.

Anonymous said...

I am a Newfoundlander, not a Newfie. I no longer live in Canada and strangely since I left I have become more and more displeased with Canada's attitude toward Newfoundlanders. First of all there are stereotypical people out there (like in all groups) that reinforce the average flatlanders (I mean Albertan's) view of Newfoundlanders. This is same as people like Flavour Flav reinforcing certain stereotypes about black people that role models like Barack Obama do not. Unfortunately for 'poor Albertans' they are bombarded by Newfoundlanders in their province doing work that is needed to keep Alberta running and to keep Albertans feeling they are superior and all is right with the world. Many of these Newfoundlanders are not the most educated and Newfoundlanders as a group often tend to degrade themselves into their stereotype. Albertans see this and it reinforces their worldview. Oddly though, this superiority of Alberta is unfounded. I lived there for two years and wasn't impressed. As a whole the province was cold and unimaginative. In fact I would rather be dead in Newfoundland than alive in Alberta but that is neither here nor there. Next year I am pledging my allegiance to the flag of the United States but I will keep my Canadian passport if I decide I want to give socialism another try. My message to Canadians is this...you are not the tolerant country you pat yourself on the back for being. Look how you treat and belittle your own citizens. At least in America, everyone is American and proud of it. In Canada, you would be hard pressed to get a Quebecer, a Newfoundlander and the poor western alienated Albertan to feel such nationalism. Think about that because that is what makes Canada a weak country.

Anonymous said...

I think you are completely and utterly insane to compare the term "Newfie" to the term "Nigger".

People threw around a few jokes because we have a thick accent and were less modern back in WW2. Big deal! Blacks were enslaved, lynched, segregated, denied an existence equal to that of other human beings.

I think it is an insult to my integrity as a Newfoundlander that people have attempted to denote the word "Newfie" a slur with such weight as the term "nigger".

And on the terminology... Get over it. An insult only hurts if you let it.

Anonymous said...

Myles, I think you would appreciate this FB Group: The Word Newfie and its Implications:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1225948233#!/group.php?gid=28147873232

Anonymous said...

I moved here a few years ago and can't wait to leave. The province is filled with rude people who do as they please without a care for others. Their is a nasty air of superiority which is neither deserved nor warranted. Their seems to be a real lack of empathy or at least certainly diminished from everywhere else I have lived.

Try looking for work as an outsider and see how far you get unless you know someone. Nepotism is RAMPANT here. They like outsiders who come to visit but the amount of times I have been accused of taking a job away from Newfoundlanders (never mind the god knows how many who work in Ontario and Alberta).

My opinion; the smart, capable people left Newfoundland years ago for pastures greener.

Comparing yourself to the struggles of black people in the United States. Very shameful.

Anonymous said...

This site only helps to solidify my view that the term, 'newfy ' is used by biggots,racists and others to try to make our Newfoundland people appear stupid, lazy and filthy. Sad isn't it, that those people will stop at nothing to somehow think that their rantings will help them to appear better than us...God Bless America...is all I can say!

Hmmmm.... said...

I gotta say as an Alberta born and bred with a bit of experience living overseas, I NEVER would of thought that the term "Newfie" was offensive! I truly have always thought that it was a term of endearment! I have said a million times, "I've never met a Newfie that I didn't like."

I had a chat with an old Irish guy in some obscure hotel bar near Kerteh, Malaysia earlier this year and once he found out I was Canadian he was chatting away about time he spent working in Newfoundland years and years ago. He said something about how great the people were and "God bless those Newfies." He didn't know it was derogatory either I guess.

If I didn't know it bothered some people, there must be a few other people that didn't know either so I hope you'll give people a bit of grace. Thanks for the bit of education.

Anonymous said...

Their are a lot of ignorant people on this post. I'm a Newfoundlander, I'm only in junior high but I'm not stupid. Newfoundland has one of the largest average family income in Canada. And for the record, I've never met any girl here in Newfoundland with buck teeth, so I don't understand why people are saying that? It is obviously ignorant people who don't know what they're talking about. For the ignorant people on here, not everyone because some of you have actual arguments that aren't hypocritical ect, just remember that a kid who is 13 years old from Newfoundland is smarter than you.

Now for the argument that "newfie" is an offensive word, personally I consider it to be equal to the word "nigger". I feel as if someone who's not from Newfoundland said that to me, I would be offended and would put them in their place. The word "newfie" should be looked on by more people as a word as bad as "nigger", but unfortunately because the majority of people don't understand it is often used to put someone down if they're from Newfoundland people won't look at it as a prejudice word.

Anonymous said...

I was doing some research about this and found this web site.

http://www.argentia.org/newfie.htm

I think newf and newfie are also derogatory. It's not hard to say Newfoundlander.