Friday, 22 April 2011

Mauzy morning

Newfoundland has its own language of sorts depending on where you go on the island or Labrador.  Words that I have heard in Dorset and Somerset pop up here as dirivatives or glimpses of Ireland are apparent in brogues and phrases.

Words for the weather are no different, and mauzy is one of them.  Here's the definition taken from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English.  Oh yes, there is one.

This word had sprung to mind when I was creating this painting.  The painting is a combination of life and memory.  I had seen this 'mauzy' morning on the drive to work and didn't have a camera with me to try to record it so I committed it to memory as best I could.  The mist, the light, the colours with the sun burning off the edges and highlighting the water.  Its an interesting exercise to see how much visual information remains in your memory to recreate on canvas.  I think it works best when you are very familiar with a subject at various times of day.  The brain seems to do a mental mix and let you pick out the elements that it thinks work best.


Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

mauzy a also maus(e)y, mawzy [phonetics unavailable]. Cp EDD mosey adj1 3 'damp and warm, muggy, close; foggy.' Of the weather, damp, foggy, misty or close, sometimes with very light rain or condensation on objects and a cool, gentle wind off the sea; cp CAPLIN (SCULL) WEATHER.

1897 J A Folklore x, 207 Mausey day, one dull and heavy, with no wind and thick mist. 1937 DEVINE 33 A mausey day is a cloudy, foggy day with no wind and a little rain at times.
1957 Daily News 16 Oct, p. 4 Oldtime seal hunters ... expressed the opinion that the long, hard winter, the heavy ice and the 'mauzy' weather of early March were just right for a bumper season. P 105-63 It's a mauzy old day, sir. 1968 KEATING 13-14 'Breeze comin' from duh suddard,' the skipper said. 'Always blows up mauzy weather.' And the fog did indeed roll over the deep as the warm south wind hit the chill air of the bank.
1969 HORWOOD 166 The Caplin Scull is not just a phenomenon of nature, but also a period of the year, and even a special kind of weather—'mausy' weather, with high humidity, frequent fogs or drizzles, easterly winds.
Supplement: mauzy a
1977 MOAKLER 29 We lost the gale sou'east of St Pierre/And lowered dories in the mauzy air. 1988 Evening Telegram 17 May, p. 8 The weather was mausy and...I had it on my mind about a rabbit slip that I never had struck up yet the spring and I wanted to get in and see to that. 


vivien said...


and aren't local words so descriptive sometimes - that's a perfect word for that weather.

Mardy is a local word I like - for a bad tempered spoilt kid playing up - it says it all in just one short words :>)

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I love paintings which pick up on the oddities of our language - providing the definition in visual terms.

This has the look and feel of a colour field painting - abstracting realism. I like it!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Beautiful Jeanette!

Laura said...

The word is absolutely perfect. The painting is such an elegant response to the weather and your landscape in general. As I've said ad nauseam, I do so envy your living where you do.