"Word" words?

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Mon Apr 28 03:58:11 UTC 2008

>One of the few pleasures of living on the East Coast is being able to
>use "tunafish," again.

Go farther east to Newfoundland and you'll encounter a new style of
meaning for "fish". In Nfld, "fish" means "cod" and every other fish
is specified. I was in a restaurant in St. John's and asked about one
menu item, "What kind of fish is it?" The answer was "Fresh." The
alternative, as it happens, would have been "Salt." Cod can be either
fresh or salted. But if it weren't cod, they would have said so in
the first place.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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