Falkland Islands English

Falkland Islands English

In the Falkland Islands, the English language is used, mainly in its British English form. However, due to the isolation of the islands, the small population has developed and retains its own accent/dialect, despite a large English immigration in recent years. In rural areas (i.e. anywhere outside Port Stanley), known as the "camp" (from Spanish "campo"), the Falkland accent tends to be stronger. The accent has resemblances to Australian English, New Zealand English, West Country dialects and the Norfolk dialect.

Other notable Falkland island terms are the words "kelper" meaning a Falkland Islander, from the kelp surrounding the islands (sometimes considered pejorative) and "smoko", referring to a smoking break (and also used in Australian and New Zealand).

As the islands are mainly dependent on sheep rearing for wool, mutton is sometimes known as "365" since they eat it almost every day of the year. The word "yomp" was used by the British military during the Falklands War but is passing out of usage.

In recent years, a substantial Saint Helenan population has arrived, mainly to do low paid work, and they too have a distinct form of English.

panish loanwords

The Falklands English vernacular has a fair amount of borrowed Spanish words (often modified or corrupted); they are particularly numerous, indeed dominant in the local horse-related terminology. For instance, the Islanders use ‘alizan’, ‘colorao’, ‘negro’, ‘blanco’, ‘gotiao’, ‘picasso’, ‘sarco’, ‘rabincana’ etc. for certain horse colours and looks, or ‘bosal’, ‘cabresta’, ‘bastos’, ‘cinch’, ‘conjinilla’, ‘meletas’, ‘tientas’, ‘manares’ etc. for various items of horse gear.Spruce, Joan. "Corrals and Gauchos: Some of the people and places involved in the cattle industry". Falklands Conservation Publication. Bangor: Peregrine Publishing, 1992. 48 pp.]

Unlike the older English, French and Spanish place names given by mariners, which refer mainly to islands, rocks, bays, coves, and capes (points), the post-1833 Spanish names usually identify inland geographical locations and features, reflecting the new practical necessity for orientation, land delimitation and management in the cattle and sheep farming. Among the typical such names or descriptive and generic parts of names are ‘Rincon Grande’, ‘Ceritos’, ‘Campito’, ‘Cantera’, ‘Terra Motas’, ‘Malo River’, ‘Brasse Mar’, ‘Dos Lomas’, ‘Torcida Point’, ‘Pioja Point’, ‘Estancia’, ‘Oroqueta’, ‘Piedra Sola’, ‘Laguna Seco’, ‘Manada’, etc. ]


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