How to Speak Like a Maritimer
While Americans look to the south for unintelligible slang and quaint accents, Canadians look to the east. People speak so fucking weirdly in Canada’s Maritime Provinces that you practically need special Robocop-style eyewear to translate the toothless fisherman-ese into intelligible subtitles. But even though you might have trouble understanding what they say, the fact that they’re friendly as fuck comes across loud and clear. After some time, their garbled fast-paced accents and abuse of English grammar grows on you to the point where you find yourself back in the big city going, “Holee Jesus cocksuckin’ Murphy, she was some fuckin’ cold and a pocketful of fuck yester’ night, I’ll tell ya right now.”
Maritimers communicate with one another like young twins that invent gibberish language: They say what they want, how they want to say it. Communication is successful through a combination of inflections, contexts, and an instinctive mutual understanding that stems from living for decades in the same small boring coastal town. Here are a few tips if you ever want to try and converse with someone from Tatamagouche.
TALK REALLY, REALLY FAST
For starters, Maritimers speak at a speed that can only be compared to an episode of Gilmore Girls cast with leprechauns on crank. When in doubt, the rule of thumb is: Fake it till you make it. No fisherman is going to dissect the minutiae of what you’re trying to say, so if you’re stuck casually throw in a few nonsensical nautical-sounding phrases like “flipper dipper” or “thar she blows!” Keep up with the pace and no one will second-guess you. If you find yourself utterly speechless, stuff your face full of donair and they’ll think your dad was the mayor of Memramcook.
SPEAK LIKE A PIRATE
The whole living-by-the-sea thing has given everyone a kind of “arrr matey!” lilt. So words like “our” are pronounced “are,” “car” sounds like “currh,” and you’ll regularly hear things like, “Come on, Terry. Get in the currh (car) we’re going to the burrh (bar). Oh it’s not too furrh (far).”
“WHAT’RE YOU SAYIN’?”
This saying translates simply into “What’s up?” and it will get you confused looks anywhere east of New Brunswick. Maritimers prefer to ask what someone is “saying” rather than “doing,” because most of them come from small towns where everyone gossips and nobody actually does anything.