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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The 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 cigarettes."


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, farming, 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...

20 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

A nice bit of trivia to know -- both nar and the porch.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Interesting! I have not heard of the "nar" usage before!

DJan said...

That's a very interesting tidbit of how a language changes in different places. I never heard it either, until now. :-)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I absolutely understand the need for a porch Marie, whereas in your area it is to protect from the harsh weather, when we lived in Africa it was to protect against the heat, as it is also here in Australia. I learnt a new word though 😉

Celia said...

New to me word and usage, love hearing about it. How appropriate for a missing porch. We lived in a oceanside village when I was small and even some of the shops had porches for umbrellas, raincoats and boots. :-)

Joanne Noragon said...

I do agree with that house assessment. We had a tiny porch on the old house, and when we watched the neighbor built a wrap around porch we hung over our railing and told him over and over, we had porch envy.

William Kendall said...

I hadn't heard of nar before either.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

I have not heard the word nar before. Thanks for sharing. The home I grew up in had a front porch and glider swing. Now, we have a deck on the back of the house. Enjoy your day!

bill burke said...

I've not heard of this word nar before either. Thanks for sharing!

jenny_o said...

Hah! It reminds me of the phrase "there he was - gone" -- the absence treated as a presence! What a great saying :)

Angela said...

Absolutely! A porch is wonderful and adds a lot to a house. Nar porch is Nar good!!

Lowcarb team member said...

I haven't heard of "nar"
Thanks for sharing this.

All the best Jan

Catarina said...

Well... this is a new word for me!

photowannabe said...

Fascinating trivia. I never heard this before but it makes sense.

Debbie said...

"nar"...not familiar to me, so this was interesting!!!

Diane said...

Nar is a new one on me. To me a porch is a covered verandah, we have a verandah but sadly not covered. Have a good day Diane

Retired Knitter said...

I have never heard or seen the word nar. In fact my spell check wants to correct it to 'war'. Ha! Interesting

Ginnie said...

How fun is that...both "nar" and the importance of a porch where you live! I usually think of a porch as something attached to the house with a roof over it but otherwise open. You sit on it and watch the weather. HA! What you're talking about is almost like a sun room/vestibule from what I grew up with. Most interesting.

Tabor said...

I use my porch to store wood..very important in keeping it dry. Interesting culture information.

baili said...

your last sentence made me smile dear Marie :)

i have not heard or read "nar" until now though i find it interesting

here we have front yards and balconies which keep us in touch with sky ,sun and weather

one friend of my eldest son who lives in one room flat in Karachi uses his porch as store room which my son finds so boring he says if he was the owner he would like to have flower pots and a chair there