Top of Page Home Search Heritage Web Site A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

auntsary1 n also ansary, aunt sarah, aunt sal(1y), nan-cary, nan-sary (n is from article an). [phonetics unavailable]. DC ~ (Nfld: 1770). Prob derived from anseres: cp Cent 'in the Linnean system (1766), the third order of birds, including all "water-birds."' For the relationships between Cartwright, the earliest authority for the word, and the scientists Banks and Pennant, see LYSAGHT Joseph Banks in Newfoundland and Labrador (1971), esp, p. 448. Greater yellowlegs (Totanus melanoleucas), TWILLICK; other long-legged birds frequenting shore and streams: plover.
   [1770] 1792 CARTWRIGHT i, 31 In the course of the day I shot three curlews, three grouse, and an auntsary. 1792 ibid Gloss i, ix ~ A bird of the wading genus, resembling a redshank. 1870 Can Naturalist v, 295 Provincial names of this bird are 'twillick,' 'twillet' and 'nansary'—the latter name more frequently in the south of the island. 1884 STEARNS 93 I shot a bird today that has a most peculiar name in the vocabulary of the natives; it is called by them the Nan-cary, pronounced as if spelt nan-sary; it is in fact the greater yellow legs. 1907 TOWNSEND 351 Greater Yellow-legs; Winter Yellow-legs; 'Auntsary.' 1959 MCATEE 31 Greater Yellow-legs ... Aunt Sarah (In allusion to its copious and loud crying; corrupted to ansary, lansary, nansary, and other forms.) P 113-56 Nansary: a small bird of the plover family. 1963 TODD 316 'Auntsary'—a name that has persisted in popular usage in Labrador down to the present day.

Go Back