Maine Slang, Local Humor, And Wicked Funny Words

Maine is a far east place, Down East they say – but it’s not down at all, it’s up in the Northeastern US corner, practically in Canaduh as they say. Maine is filled with characters who speak their own special language.

Folks from away don’t always get what the heck Mainahs are sayin, but that’s ok. It aint nothin’ a lobstah roll won’t cure.

If you are visiting Maine, or if you’re what we call a transplant, from away but you are now residin’ heah, this list of Maine terms, local slang, and wicked Maine accents, might help you out should you find yourselves in a bit of a sticky wicket.

Ayuh – means yes, or at least acknowledgment from a Mainah.

Bah Hahbah – Bar Harbor pronounced by a Mainah – you see “er” is pronounced ah… “r’s” dont get a lot of love in Maine

Beans or the Beanah – LL Beans’ famous store – you go to Beans or the Beanah to get yourself some new Beanah boots… drop the LL to sound like a local

Bob Marley – a wicked funny Maine comedian and humorist, Maine loves him more than the grass smokin, peace pledging Jamaican of the same name

Cah – this is a car…

Camp – a Maine summer home, ski house or  hunting lodge, you go Upta camp where there is no wee-fee, cell service, etc.

Chowdah – delicious Maine soup of white cream usually chock full of clams or lobster

Clammin – digging for mussels or clams

Cunnin – cute or adorable

Deah – a four-legged animal with antlers – deer, smaller than a moose but still good huntin, fill ya freezah all wintah

Down East – the term “Down East” or “Downeast” is most commonly used in Maine to refer to the state’s eastern coastal region, which includes Washington and Hancock counties beginning in Ellsworth and stretching east to the Maritime Provinces.

Fay yah – a Fair or festival of farm animals, rides, craft and fried dough, The Fryeburg Fair for example. Fay yah’s are often held in the summah but some are in the fall

Flatlander – visitors from away, usually Massachusetts (aka: mass-holes)

Hahbah – a cove off the ocean, like Bah Hahbah, or Cape Porpoise Harbor.

4 Wheelah – an ATV with four wheels, a Maine toy in all season, best enjoyed muddin and 4wheelin upta camp

Lobstah – singular, plural, just leave off the R, and don’t ask why they aren’t red if they haven’t been cooked yet

Maahhden’s – The Maine salvage & surplus store – Mardens – where you find wicked good bahgains on a whole mess of stuff.  One man’s factory reject is another man’s treasure. Stick around long enough and you too will soon be sing-in, “I should of bought it – when I saw it – at Maahden’s.”

Reny’s – same thing as Marden’s, and you can get Caahahts here too – everyone in Maine wears Carharts – theya indestructible, flame retardant work pants, don’t ya know…

Snomachinin – going snowmobiling upta camp

UptaCamp – when you go to your other more rustic place, a camp or cabin on a lake or the coast.

Wicked – an exclamation –  wicked good chowdah, wicked cold, wicked hot, wicked some awful weathah..

Wicked Pissah – an extreme emphasis on how shockingly extraordinary something is.

“You can’t get theya from heah” – a Mainer’s disinterest in providing you directions…

And if you ever ask a real Main ah, “What’s the weather supposed to be like?” Do not be surprised if he looks to the sky, holds out his hand and says, “Oh, ’bout like this.”

You get the picture.  Enjoy your time in Maine, and don’t be wicked shocked if the locals aren’t overly chatty with you. You’re from away, so you aint one a them, don’t ya know.

Did you know Maine has 3,166 off-shore islands?! Find out more fun facts here

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  1. Those are great expressions for us Flatlanders to know. Thank you! My son head’s Down East next year for college.

  2. Im wondering if you’ll l have heard of or see a Maine Ayhup stick ?
    I ve seen and used one about 35byears ago . A laugh riot.

  3. My pepere would say madabout not sure of spelling when someone is crabby is can’t find anything on spelling or meaning can you help me out on this he was from fort kent

  4. No mention of doohyahd (dooryard), you know like “Weah gonna go play hoss shoes out theyah in tha doohyahd after suppah”…..of course there are usually a front and a reah doohyahd (in front of or behind the house)

    1. There was also the barnyard which was probably the first reason for the distinction from dooryard.
      We Mainer’s use the term, but, really – it’s a farmer’s term and we love telling them from away the truth about it. Yessah!

  5. Thank you for sharing.
    Born and raised in Los Angeles I’m always happy to learn more about my Maine roots. Boothbay, Portland, Waldo. My DNA lights up like a Christmas tree in Maine!

  6. What about “Mr. Man?” As in, “”Yessah, Mr. Man! How ya doin?” I have heard it a few times, in an seemingly enthusiastic, respectful way…

  7. Heard a Mainer interviewed on the local news….he said to the reporter he was sitting in his house having his “morning grumper”,,,,

    Please explain to this flatlander

  8. As a Mainer (born, not really raised but I visit a lot) I never realized these were specifically Maine things. Now I understand why so many people looked at me funny when I said some of this stuff.

    When I first told somebody that the shoes I got were from Marden’s and they said “What’s Marden’s?” I stopped talking and stared at them. I was like 11 at the time but it’s so funny to me that I never realized that Marden’s was only ever a store I visited in Maine when I was at camp with my Grammy; that Marden’s in fact does not exist in North Carolina where I currently live.

    Another thing is Camp- is it not widespread to call your summer lake home camp? Is that really a Maine thing? That’s crazy to me. No wonder everybody else thought I was talking about genuinely camping and not just my bug and mouse infested summer house by the lake. Gee willikers, the mosquito bites. Always a sign of summer…

    I’m surprised there aren’t other phrases here like “slow as cold molasses”. I have that one ingrained in my head.

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