Moocher in the Lun: A Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Alphabet.


64 pages
ISBN 978-1-897317-14-3
DDC jC811'.54






Illustrations by C. Anne MacLeod
Reviewed by R. Gordon Moyles

R. Gordon Moyles is professor emeritus of English at the University of
Alberta, co-author of Imperial Dreams and Colonial Realities: British
Views of Canada, 1880–1914, and author of The Salvation Army and the


“A is for auntsary / Bird of the Shore, /Sometimes called nansary / In fisher-folk lore,” begins this delightful Newfoundland book of alphabet verse. “Sometimes a slick snipe / Or even a twillick, / On cold days it crumps / By Uncle Rob’s killick,” continues the poem by way of further elucidating the term nansary. And lest you still don’t fully understand, though you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the fun, on the opposite page is a magnificent illustration of the common “yellow legs” pecking at the seaweed near Uncle Rob’s wooden anchor. And so throughout this entertaining and subtly informative collection, where “L is for Lun / A calm, sheltered spot,” “Q is for quintal, / A measure of cod,” on to “Z is for zosweet, / A Beothuck word / For a brownish-in-summer / But winter-white bird,” we (and I mean adults as well as children) revel in the verse and are enlightened and awed by the wonderful, sometimes whimsical, illustrations. This is a book not only to enjoy for the moment but to preserve as a good introduction to Newfoundland folklore. Highly Recommended.


Dawe, Tom., “Moocher in the Lun: A Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Alphabet.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024,