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.