The Once – Newfoundland and Labrador Language Lessons


The once is a response. Time related. When are you coming over?
Now the once. When are we leaving?
Now the once. Meaning shortly, within the next few minutes. Now, and now the once, are very close together, but they are not the same thing. Now is… is present, it is current, it is in the moment. Now the once is… it is coming, it will happen, you can see it, but it’s not here. It’s not the same as in a minute, because in a minute could be structured. You could be speaking about an actual minute. Now the once is fluid, it’s not a definitive, structured unit of time, but it is happening very soon.

18 thoughts on “The Once – Newfoundland and Labrador Language Lessons

  • I find it so funny that I don't realize these saying are things that need to be explained until I watch these videos LOL Thank God I am a Newfoundlander and am born knowing these things !! hahahahaha

  • Some friends and I love these videos, but feel the expressions are spoken like a mainlander would say them. A Newfoundlander would not say, for instance, "the once". He or she would say "da once". There really is no "th" in true Newfoundland dialects! But please, keep 'em comin'!

  • I always felt "now da once" just meant "eventually, but not right now". Kind of like,

    Jim: "I'm getting bored sitting here drinking, let's head downtown already"
    Frank: "Relax Jim, we'll head down now da once"

  • I feel this lad has a good grasp of the mainlander speech and uses it in the videos for the purpose of intelligibility across the world. I'd love some long videos of real conversations, in no way modified for the non-native intelligibilty, and preferably of people who've no inkling they're being recorded. Then we'll know if we've studied enough. Being very familiar with the old Southern Irish accents gives me an advantage there though.

  • I remember the first year I was in Newfoundland and my friend said he would be there "now da once" and I had NO idea what he saying.

  • I was golfing in Regina Sask. in the 90's with two friends and we picked up a guy at the clubhouse to round out the foursome. On the first nine holes the course marshal come along and I asked if there was a refreshment cart available, He replied there was and I said "I guess we'll see it the once." The guy we picked up asked how long I've been away from Nfld. I asked what made him think that was where I was from. He replied “ The last time I heard someone say `the once` I was in Nfld.“ lol

  • Grandmudder used to say "de once" in response to when are we going to the store (insert place here)? could have been anytime between a few minutes time to a few hours. Usually in the same day, though. I hated it. As endearing as it was, I wanted a bloody time. Like "in an hour or so when Dad (she called grandfadder dad) gets back from his walk". Be specifc! shag the generalizations. 🙂

  • And it does not always need "now" in the phrase. For example someone asks you "are we going over to Lucy's"? You may reply yeah or yes the once when I gets the dishes done. Going over to Lucy's is predicated on once the dishes are done. Or when the dishes are done. But we love our slang….da once, sleveen, stabines, whattaya at?, nuttin by', stay where you're to till I comes where ya at (stay over there untill I get over there). But don't be crooked with me if I take a while to get there. Oh I miss my province, it has been 11 years since I saw hide or tail of her.

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