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10
Jun-2015

Downeast dictionary: A guide to Maine’s native language

If you are “from away,” you may have trouble understanding just what, exactly, a Downeast Mainer is talking about. Memorize this guide and you’ll have no trouble ordering some steamahs and beeahs for your dinnah out in Bah Haba, ayuh.

Ayuh: Less like a word and more like a muted grunt, this is an acknowledgment that the speaker agrees with you. If used at the end of a sentence, it indicates the speaker agrees with himself.

Bah Haba: Bar Harbor, the most populous and most visited town on Mount Desert Island, e.g.: “Ain’t noweahs to evha pahk the cah in Bah Habah.”

Beah(s): Beer(s).

Beetah: A very old truck, likely only drivable on one’s own property, as it is unsafe to drive on town roads.

Bummah: That is unfortunate.

Buttah: Butter. A condiment that is served by the pint with a lobstah dinnah.

Buzz on: If the speaker has a “buzz on” or is “buzzed up,” he or she has had one too many beeahs.

Cah: Car.

Chout: Watch out.

Chuppta?: What are you up to?

Cunnin’: A very odd word meaning, “cute.”

Deeah: Dear. Next to “wicked,” you’ll likely hear “deeah” the most when in conversation with a Mainer, as in, “How can I help you, deeah?”

Dinnah: The last meal of the day. (See also: suppah.)

Doah yahd: The front yard.

From away: A slightly pejorative term for someone who is not originally from Maine.

Goddammah: An expression of bewilderment at something; not necessarily something bad.

Glaahs: Glass. Sounds like how a British person would pronounce it.

Hahd tellin’ not knowin’: I don’t know.

Hammah down: To drive really fast or pass someone.

“I’m tellin’ you”: An expression preceded by a statement or opinion, e.g.: “It’s wicked cold outside, I’m tellin’ you.”

Jeezum crow!: Holy cow!, e.g.: “Jeezum crow that truck was hammerin’ down, I’m tellin’ you!”

Jimmies: Sprinkles on ice cream.

Lobstah: Lobster.

Mainah: Someone from Maine.

Massholes: People from Massachusetts.

Memba?: Do you remember?

Mutha: The woman who gave birth to you.

Old lady: Someone’s wife or girlfriend; this phrase has nothing to do with age.

Out straight: Extremely busy.

Padiddle: A car with only one working headlight.

Sea glaahs: Highly sought-after pieces of broken glass that have been smoothed out and rounded by salt water and ocean waves. They make wicked good jewelry.

Shooah: Sure.

Steamah: Steamed clams.

Suppah: An early dinnah.

Statie: State Trooper, e.g.: “Chout for those staties on I-95.”

Stove up: Exhausted.

T’aint likely: Something that is not likely to happen.

Wicked: Very; so; e.g.: “That was wicked awesome!” or “I had a wicked bad day.”

Some definitions adapted from The Wicked Good Guide to Mainah English

How to talk like a Mainer - Acadia Visitor

Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]