bedlamer n also beddamer, bedlemer, bedlimmer, bellamer [phonetics
unavailable]. Cp OED ~ 'lunatic' (1675, 1753); EDD bedlam sb1 1
'troublesome person or animal', EDD ~ 1 'Bedlam-beggar' (1742); DC ~ Nfld
(1773-) for sense 1; EDD ~ 2 (Nfld: 1898) for sense 2.
1 An immature seal, esp a harp seal, approaching breeding
age; also attrib.
 1971 BANKS 145 The Bedlamer Quite dusky
without any mark they themselves tell you that the Bedlamer is the young harp. 
1792 CARTWRIGHT ii, 35-6 We hauled some nets ... and a couple of bedlamers.  1916
MURPHY 2-3 Our dependence rests wholly upon Harps and Bedlamers, which are driven by
winds and ice from the northeast seas. 1842 JUKES i, 310 When twelve months old the males
[harp-seals] are still scarcely to be distinguished from the females, and during that
season they are called 'bedlamers.' 1867 SMYTH 93 ~ Young Labrador seals, which set up a
dismal cry when they cannot escape their pursuersand go madly after each other in
the sea. 1905 MURPHY 21 "Seal Hunting Song": Old 'bedlamers' we often take, / Their
'pelts' being quite as good, sir, / As any 'swoil' in yield of oil / Be he 'dog harp' or
'hood,' sir. 1923 CHAFE 9 [In migrating] the Harps keep comparatively near the Shore and
the Hoods a few miles off. The giddy bedlamers alone break the rules of the road. 1933
GREENE 74 These young Bedlamer seals appear to be free of the strict herd-control that
comes with later days. They seem to be allowed to swim, and fish, and herd by themselves,
and indeed to live as they choose; whereas some kind of an almost military discipline
seems to exist amongst the adult members of these seal communities. 1937 DEVINE 9 ~ A
two-year old harp seal, said to be corrupted from the French Bete de la mer, (Beast of
the sea). T 80/4--64 This year they're a bellamer, small bellamer, and the next year
they're a big bellamer. What we calls a turner seal is tumin' from a bellamer to a harp.
1978 Decks Awash vii (1) [p. ii] ~ a juvenile harp seal from about 1 to 5 years of
age which has a spotted coat.
2 A youth approaching
manhood, esp in comb ~ boy; MANEEN.
1896 J A Folklore
ix, 34 Bedlamer ... is applied rather contemptuously to young fellows between 16 and
20. 1940 SCAMMELL 8 "The Six Horse-Power Coaker": 'Twas coming on night, with the seas
feather white, / When up to us rowed a small skiff, / And a bedlamer boy with a cast in
his eye, / Kindly offered to give us a lift. 1959 SAMSON vii He, as a 'bedlammer' boy,
entertained the notion of going to St John's. T 191-65 There would be always a crowd of
bedlamer boys, and when the older people 'd be inside havin' their tea, the young fellers
'd be outside.