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



flake n OED ~ sb1 2 b (Nfld: 1623-1876), orig 'a wattled hurdle'; EDD sb1 7 (Nfld: 1892); DAE (1635-1886); DC (Nfld: 1620-). See also BROAD FLAKE, HAND- ~ .
   1 A platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying cod-fish on the foreshore; FISH-FLAKE.
   [1578] 1935 Richard Hakluyt 124 [Parkurst's letter:] In makyng of flakes and other dryinge places. 1620 WHITBOURNE 63 There are also some, who arriving first in Harbor, take away other mens Salt that they had left there the yeare before, and also rip and spoile the Fats wherein they make their Traine; and some teare down the Flakes, whereon men yeerely dry their fish. [1663] 1963 YONGE 57-8 After a day or thereabouts [in the horse the fish is] laid abroad on flakes, that is boughs thinly laid upon a frame, like that of a table, and here the fish dries. 1699 Act of William III, 10 & 11, Cap. xxv And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person or persons whatsoever shall (at his departure out of the said country, or at any other time) destroy, deface, or do any detriment to any such stage or cook room, or to the flakes, spikes, nails, or any other thing whatsoever thereto belonging. [1712] 1895 PROWSE 273 No complaints that any admiral, vice-admiral, and rear-admiral do ingross more beach or flakes than they pitch upon at their arrival. [1766] 1971 BANKS 134 [The fish] are Carried to the Last operation of Drying them which the English Do upon Standing flakes made by a slight Wattle Just strong enough to support the men who Lay on the fish supported upon Poles in some Places as high as twenty feet from the ground. [1771] 1792 CARTWRIGHT i, 133 At nine I went myself with three hands in the skiff to Stage Cove, and carried all the rinds which were below the house. We got one raft on shore there, and I fixed on the places for the stage, flakes, and the shoremen's house. 1832 MCGREGOR i, 171 The sea broke in upon the lands where fish-houses, flakes, &c., were erected, and occasioned vast loss and destruction. 1863 HIND i, 306 The hurdles on which cod are stretched to dry are called flakes; they are placed parallel to each other, with spaces of four feet between to enable the men in charge of the fish to move round them. 1883 HATTON & HARVEY 291 The flake consists of a horizontal framework of small poles, covered with spruce boughs and supported by upright poles, the air having free access beneath. Here the cod are spread out to bleach in the sun and air, and during the process require constant attention. [1905] 1912 Nfld Law Reports 158 [The agreement] shows the property to be of considerable value, consisting of land at Brigus and Labrador, goods, wares, merchandize, houses, stores, flakes, boats, fishing gear, fourteen traps, salt, several schooners, and other fishing property. [1929] 1933 GREENLEAF (ed) 255 "Lukey's Boat": And when he was coming around the cape, / He spied old Jennie all on the flake. 1937 JUNEK 34 [The washed fish] is then carried to the 'flakes'—framework raised a short distance above the ground and covered with old nets. 1964 Daily News 3 Feb, p. 4 Today few fishermen are prepared to devote the time to the proper sun-drying of fish and it is a rare place today where women and children toil on the 'flakes.' T 36/8-64 You were supposed to build your flakes, when you had the collar on; build your flakes, build your stage heads, tar your roof, go in the woods and cut rines for to cover up your fish. T 43-64 The flakes was usually built up in [on] the beach by the stage—beams shored up, handy about level, and he probably cover over three, four, five hundred feet square.
   2 Phr flakes of money: lots of money (1924 ENGLAND 316).
   P 108-74 I see you're putting another piece on to the house. You must have money to burn!' 'Yes, boy, flakes of it.'
   leaky as a flake: very leaky.
   M 65-2 ~ used when talking about a boat which is not watertight. C 71-93 So for something to be as leaky as a flake means to be very leaky indeed.
   go on theflake: to work on the flake curing fish, spreading, turning and piling it (Q 67-69).
   3 Attrib, comb, cpd flake bar: length of wood used in the construction of a drying-platform for
   cod.
   P 102-60 Two saw mill operators using two benches sawed all the flake bars and laths used for making our fish flakes.
   flake beam: wooden pole placed horizontally to
   support the platform of a drying-flake.
   T 14/21-64 We'd have what we call a flake-beam, a stick, say, he'd be thirty feet long, about 2 inches in diameter in the top and about 5 in the butt. 1977 BURSEY 28 During the winter he went into the forest to cut flake beams.
   flake bough: the branch of a spruce or fir tree spread on the flake to permit air to circulate under the drying fish. See also BOUGH n.
   [1832] 1981 Them Days vi (4), p. 35 Capt Quinton retd from St Francis Harb and the Plover from Shole Cove with flake bows. T 43-64 So every spring, 'twould be handy about the last woodswork would be done, [you'd] get the flake boughs, you'd pull them out and you'd pile 'em in a big pile, and then you'd put a terrific weight on 'em to flatten 'em out so as when you put 'em on your flake, they'd be handy about flat. And you cover them boughs over with your fish. 1975 BUTLER 60 Flake boughs were straight sticks about one and one half inches in the butt with the limbs and twigs left on. 1979 TIZZARD 242 I suppose the last thing my father hauled out of the woods ... was flake boughs. He would select the best branches from the fir and spruce trees, and a few white spruce boughs mixed in with them. These he would haul to the fish flakes and spread them out. These would be pressed out by placing large sticks or logs on them, so that they would be quite flat by the time the caplin were ready to be spread on them.
   flake-longer, ~ lunger: a long pole placed horizontally on uprights to form the elevated surface of a drying-platform for cod-fish. See also LONGER.
   1896 J A Folklore ix, 32 ~ [one of] the horizontal pieces in flakes, on which boughs are laid to form the bed on which fish are placed to dry. T 169/70-652 I had a flake longer hooked onto the strap I had in my bucket. T 43-64 A flake longer is a small tree about three inches in the butt and it'll go right away to the top. You'd cover over these beams with these longers. 1977 RUSSELL 107 You cut two holes eight or ten foot apart. tie a rope to one end of a flake longer, poke it down through one hole and hook it up through the other with a hand gaff.
   flake-room: an allotment near the shore for building a drying-platform for cod-fish. See also ROOM.
   [1763] 1954 INNIS 181 Allowed to a single boat. Flake room 50 yards long & 40 yards wide. [1882] 1898 Nfld Law Reports 369 The very strip or dock now the subject of litigation, or at all events the flake room immediately adjoining at the back of it, was held by Father Murphy to form part of the plaintiff's property. T 141/67-652 Of course there'd be a flake room to keep up, there'd be a stage to repair, or boats to repair.
   flake-work: the activities connected with curing and drying cod-fish.
   1972 MURRAY 248 The skipper's wife took charge of the 'flake work' if the men were away fishing.

Go Back