Bivver – Newfoundland and Labrador Language Lessons


Bivver, I suppose, is a cross between, “brrrrrrrr” and quiver. It’s a movement and sometimes a sound that’s made. Generally it’s a
teeth chattering, particularly your bottom lip and your chin shaking.
And I associated it mainly with cold. It also might be used if you see a child on the verge of tears, for instance. You see them… bivver in the bottom lip, before they break into tears And that’s where it will be used too. If I’m waiting to go to school as a kid, you know, and you’re leaned up against a pole and as a northeast wind whistling in, You’re trying to get some shelter and you are literally bivvvvvvering… then that’s what the word means.

6 thoughts on “Bivver – Newfoundland and Labrador Language Lessons

  • Lovely – great explanation. I wonder if he would confirm what I learned in Nova Scotia was the Newfoundland definition of "wonderful" –' it fills me with wonder'.

  • BIVVER meant to be "chaffing at the bit" to get involved in something, be it a game, a conversation or to help out. Aptly applied to both children and adults, it was not unusual to hear elders refer to someone as bivvering, meaning they can't wait to get involved and haven't been invited participate.

  • hey guys here in Wexford a language called yola was spoken up to 100 years ago that was heavy influence by flemish/Dutch. we have the word bibber meaning to shiver, 100 of Yola speakers emigrated to newfoundland in the 1700's and this could well be where the bivver is coming. in Dutch today bibber means to shiver. And in yola they took the Irish een ending so shivering was called bibbereen.

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