The Newfoundland dialect is wonderful grand. Descriptive, authentic, charming. You couldn’t set a novel in Newfoundland and not include some dialect, but I wanted to get the balance right. Too much and you risk alienating anyone unfamiliar with it, too little and it won’t ring true.

Upon her arrival in Twig, Rachel meets Phonse Flynn and immediately she is faced with a strong accent and unusual vocabulary:

“You might want to save the view for a fine day,” he said. “It’s right mauzy today, see?”


“Mauzy.” He gestured at the air.

Phonse doesn’t explain mauzy to Rachel, but this does:

What do you think about use of dialect in fiction? As a reader or as a writer?


10 thoughts on “Mauzy

  1. Mauzy? Just the word makes me think of rocks and ocean and soft weather and Eddie Coffey’s Newfoundland song ‘A Grey Foggy Day’. Local dialect makes fiction come alive.

  2. When I started reading The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, I thought, oh no, this dialect is going to get old really fast. But it was done SO well, that didn’t happen. It enhanced the read, gave it a sense of place. I’m not a good enough writer to pull that off, buy boy, McBride sure was!

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