Clarke's Beach resident tired of Newfie jokes

Bill Westcott
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I don't know about you, but I for one abhor Newfie jokes. I only wish we as a people would do all we can to snuff them out and not add to the problem.

letter to editor

I don't know about you, but I for one abhor Newfie jokes. I only wish we as a people would do all we can to snuff them out and not add to the problem.

We are the stories we tell. Jokesters everywhere spend hours reworking those sick jokes. They tell them and tell them and tell them again ad nauseam. Most fabricate and embellish them even when they know they are far from the truth.

Criticism welcomed

You can subject me to all the criticism you want, but you will never find me repeating one of them. If people really want to know who we are as a people, then why don't they make every effort to find out, including spending time in our beautiful province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Internationally spread

How far do these Newfie jokes travel? Well, here is one example.

My wife and I were at a concert staged at a huge arts and culture centre in Florida. The international star who performed for about two hours to captivated, adorning crowds, during an intermission used the term "goofy Newfies" when speaking to a couple of people from this province.

"So, you guys are goofy Newfies are ye?" he jokingly asked. He got a big surprise when they said, "No, we are Newfoundlanders, sir."

A proud Newfoundlander

Did you hear the one about the Newfie ... me? Well, for your edification I am a proud Newfoundlander too and please do not use that derogatory term in my presence again.

I wish that you, our readers, would join me today in snuffing out those terrible insulting jokes about our province and our people. We're not goofy and we are not Newfies.


— Bill Westcott is a resident of Clarke's Beach

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Florida

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Recent comments

  • Judy Banack
    January 07, 2015 - 14:06

    What a great editorial Mr Westcott--I never understood the term Newfie's as the great people I know from Newfoundland are smart folks, marvelous cook's and love to entertain and I see them in Church on Sun. also..Nothing "dumb" about those qualities..proud to call my friends Newfoundlanders! Judy Banack

  • Justin
    March 14, 2014 - 17:11

    Get a life by, ya friggin newfie

  • Jamie O'Flaherty
    Jamie O'Flaherty
    February 17, 2014 - 12:46

    I am not at all offended by the word "Newfie" when it's used in the proper context, which I believe is 99.9% of the time these days by anyone with half a brain. I have been on both ends of the usage of the word too. "He's a Newfie, great guy and a hard worker." or "Go home ya effing Newfie taking our jobs" (that second one was said to me by a Pakistani in Brampton, go figure!) I know the history of the word, and in my opinion, you have to take the source into account. Many people put Newfie in the same basket with another very derogatory "N" word, one that should never be used. HOWEVER, I have heard that word used many times when African Americans were speaking to each other. Is that right? I don't know, I'm staying out of that one. But is it right when I call another person from Newfoundland a Newfie? I have no issue with it, nor do most of the people I know. But, it's a free society, and "Whatever blows yer hair back" is fine by me.

  • Duffy
    February 15, 2014 - 09:29

    Prior to my retirement several years ago we traveled to many areas of North America and often heard "Newfy" Jokes and other type tales from using other nationalities. BUT I never heard them with any sound of "belittlement". They were told in jest and everyone laughted - including us. Newfoundlanders are respected everywhere and we can laugh at ourselves and have a good time. With Societies "Big Shots" be carefull we do not become the "city" well heel intellectuals that frown on a good laugh - sometimes at our expense but always in good jest. Newfoundlanders are by nature giving, respected, hard working and yes funny.

  • dougie
    February 08, 2014 - 07:53

    Hmmm..lets see, I am a mainlander with Newfoundland parents and grew up here, wish I could have gotten a cent for every time I was called a maggoty mainlander. Also, the derogatory term for a black man is still used here today, what's up with that?.

  • NEWFIE Proud
    February 05, 2014 - 08:11

    And God Guard all us Newfies ... I am a NEwfoundlander born and raised and I am proud of who I am and where I come from and I do not regard the term Newfie as derogatory or disrespectful. I am not dumb, or uneducated nor am I "gooofy" .. I am good natured, love a good laugh, respectable, honest, hardworking, polite, sensitive, open minded, caring and PROUD.

  • Bill Westcott
    February 03, 2014 - 19:17

    Hey Robroy! Tell that to the families and relatives of the men of TheNewfoundland Regiment (that is NEW FOUND LAND Robroy. ) Tell them that the 733 Newfoundland "Blue Puttees" who were slaughtered on July 1st, 1916 at Beaumont Hamel, France in the Battle of The Somme. Yes, 733 of 801 young proud, patriotic sons fought and died for our country. My Uncle Jack Ryan included. I doubt if at any time, anywhere one single one of them called themselves Newfie. It was and is not the Newfie Regiment Robroy. I am proud to defend their cause and pray for their souls. You said you served our country.. well done.. you also defended NEWFOUNDLAND- THAT IS NEW FOUND LAND ROBROY. God Guard the Newfoundland! And God Guard th ROYAL NEWFOUNDLAND REGIMENT.

    • observing it all
      February 05, 2014 - 13:52

      Bill get a life, it's people like you that get upset at little things that makes society over sensitive in todays world....why we have to build transgendered bathrooms in new schools, and why little Billy needs to get a participation medal so he doesn't feel sad that he sucks at hockey or soccer..

  • Robroy
    February 03, 2014 - 14:06

    You said yourself he jokingly asked. There are jokes about frogs , blue nosers the like. I am a very proud Newfoundlander who fought for this country and believe you me newfie would be the least you would want to be called in this international world. A newfie is dependable a hard worker and a true friend. If that insults you sir I am sorry

  • Janice Benoit
    February 03, 2014 - 13:20

    Only the most ignorant of their history refer to themselves as “Newfies.” If Mr. Westcott and your readers want to know the history behind the derogatory term “Newfie,” go to and click on the appropriate section to learn when, where, and how “Newfie” became derogatory. Tell Mr. Westcott he will find everything there is to know about “Newfie” and those stupid "Newfie" jokes at

    • bbinottawa
      February 07, 2014 - 09:25

      I was skeptical but I did read the article. I would like to thank you for the reference. I've always refered to myself as a Newfie and know that there was a preconveived notion about my heritage. I have disproven all those steroetypical thoughts within minutes of talking to 'them', but have never realized nor pondered the origin of the word Newfie. Thank-you. Newfie no more. Newfoundlander only.

  • paul
    February 03, 2014 - 12:34

    how far do they go? I was in Greece 20+ years ago and a local told me a 'Newfie Joke' be fair he didn't know the diff but was put up to it by another Canadian he met that day...I was not amused that my fellow Canadian would do that in a foreign country...

  • Vida Porter
    February 03, 2014 - 12:12

    Mr. Westcott I have been living here for 12 years now and have been saying the exact same thing as you. I get responses like lighten up its only fun, I say no its just plain rude. Also when I came I used to see stupid gifts like as they were called on a tab attached , Newfie fly trap. I told so many people to stop making fun at us , I have to say I don't see it any more . More of need to speak up , no other race puts up with this.

  • Mary Ash
    February 03, 2014 - 11:38

    I am a proud Newfoundlander too and I 100% agree with this article!!

  • Mary Ash
    February 03, 2014 - 11:35

    I am a proud Newfoundlander too and I 100% agree with Mr Bill Westcott.

  • Jeri
    February 03, 2014 - 10:19

    I am a Newfie. And most definitely goofy. Plus, I have a sense of humour.

  • Jeri
    February 03, 2014 - 10:17

    I am a Newfie. And most definitely goofy. Plus, I have a sense of humour.

  • Fred
    February 03, 2014 - 09:55

    Proppa ting Bye