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Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Value of a Porch

It is common to hear the word 'nar' used in Newfoundland to mean no. You might hear things like

"We caught nar fish today." 

Or, " I got nar cigarette."

However, one of the most interesting uses of nar is with the word porch; the value of which is connected to the weather, an important character in the culture and lifestyle of the province. So much of what people did, fishing, hunting, or harvesting wood, depended on the weather conditions. In fact, the long preoccupation with weather even continues today because it can change in a few minutes. If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes, is commonly heard in Newfoundland and other parts of Atlantic Canada.

As a result of the often harsh weather, homes in Newfoundland are designed for the elements. Whether a porch is attached to the outside of the house or the interior entry of the home, it is almost essential to any Newfoundland dwelling. It separates the main living area of the house from the outdoors, like a weather or windbreak. Years ago porches also served as storage areas for wood or supplies. 

The importance of the porch is understood by the saying,

"The worst thing you can have on your house is nar porch." 

So true...

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