As much as I dislike quoting this source, here goes. And I apologize for getting off topic, but not too far off.
"The terms "Newf" or "Newfie" are considered derogatory by many Newfoundlanders. Newfoundlanders are of different views as to whether the term "Newf" is as derogatory as the term "Newfie." As with many ethnic groups saddled with pejorative terms, many Newfoundlanders use the terms to refer to themselves or to each other, and in this context they are less offensive than when used by non-Newfoundlanders.
The word "Newfie" is associated with "Newfie jokes", typical Canadian ethnic jokes (external - login to view)
told and retold since the days of the bankruptcy (external - login to view)
of the Dominion of Newfoundland (external - login to view) government
during the Great Depression (external - login to view)
. The jokes almost always depict Newfoundlanders as stupid, lazy or both. Many such jokes are identical to ethnic jokes that are used to put down other groups.
In March 2006, an Edmonton (external - login to view)
police officer was disciplined for using the word Newphie
[sic (external - login to view)
] to describe the apprehension of an individual. (external - login to view) This explicitly derogatory usage is particularly prevalent in locations (such as northern Alberta) where large numbers of Newfoundlanders have migrated for economic opportunities.
In the 1970s, the Government of Alberta added the term "Newfie" to a list of words not allowed to be used on personalised licence plates, reasoning that it was an ethnic slur and hateful. In 2006, a man from Newfoundland argued that also a source of pride, and fought to have the word removed from the list, and he eventually won."
I'm sorry but I don't get the warm fuzzies whenever I hear the term. Just because a certain segment of society continues to use the word on a regular basis and don't see any problem with it does not make it ok. You see, if the word is used in a light hearted way to show friendship and comraderie, that's ok But if it's used in a derogatory, offensive way then we have a problem. The latter will never go away so I say we ban this insidious word from our vocabulary completely.
Karrie, again, when I see the words litter/Newfie/transient all combined in such a negative connotation, it raises my hackles. I've got my Irish ancestory to thank for that. My reference to immigrants was only to point out some of the other possible sources of the problem. If I came across as rude I apologize. Funny thing is if you saw me in person you'd find a very easy going, laid back individual. These forums have a way of bringing out the craziness in people sometimes.