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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.