Old Fort Cheese

I’m pretty sure I was well into my twenties before I realized something. It’s something sort of dumb, and not really that important, but hell, I’m not feeling exactly creative tonight, so I’ll tell you all about it.

It’s a little story about Old Fort Cheese.

Ever hear of it? Probably not if you aren’t Canadian.

Cracker Barrel Old Fort Cheese!

Yup, I was probably 22 or 23 before the pieces fell into place. The cheese is not Old Fort. The cheese is Old. Fort is French for strong. Ergo, I was a twit until my mid-twenties. I took French in school. I know that all Canadian food is packaged in bilingual packaging. But those pieces just never really fit together.

As someone with an English degree, I’m going to let you in on another dirty secret. Growing up in Pictou County, NS, there is a certain vernacular that you don’t know you have until you move somewhere else and the locals there look at you like you’re an back-woods country bumpkin the first time you have a drink with them. The Pictou County Twang, as I like to call it, pretty much identifies you within about five seconds of opening your mouth. When kids come into the jail, I immediately know they’re from The County as soon as I hear them tell me their names. It’s hard to describe, but think a Boston fisherman, who’s spent half his life in Newfoundland before settling down in north-east Maine and learning to over-enunciate the letter “r” while elongating most vowels to the point of absurdity. It’s not something you can really get into via the written word, unless I start typing in phonology, which isn’t going to happen. Regardless, along with this great accent of ours (mine really comes out when I’m drinking with my friends and family), there are also a few words and tenses that don’t seem to exist anywhere else in the world. Some of slang from the area includes-the deek, the super and the right, just to name a few. To clarify some usage for you:

Super deek ya did!


Deek-more of a Stellarton word that may actually be dated (I’m old, fuck off) but it is still a classic. Sort of like the ever-popular “psych” or “not”. Examples:

“I heard you’re dating Tonya!”
“What? Screw off…”
“Hahaha, deek. I’m just kidding. She’s a fat skank*.”

*Interesting note: In Pictou County “skank” refers to a scruffy, unkempt person, not necessarily a slutty person. ie: a homeless man on the street could be skanky without also being a male prostitute…

Super-This isn’t a word solely bound to PC, but if there is some kind of record for the most use of this word, I’m sure The County would take the gold medal.

“That’s super awesome.”
“Super fun!”
“She’s a super big winner”

Also note you can combine this into a really fantastic, “Super deek ya did!” As in, “Wow, really? I can’t believe you did that!”

Right-Ah, right. It’s the hand I use to write. It’s also right fucking awesome to use right in a right stupid way.

“Oh, what? That’s right fucked up!”
“I’m so hung over. I was right drunk last night”

These examples are fun. However, I think the best Pictou Countyism has to be “bet“.

I’m not talking gambling or placing a wager on a dog fight here, Michael Vick. No sir, you see, in Pictou County the past tense of the word “beat” is “bet”, as in,

“Dude, she bet the shit outta her boyfriend last night!”

It took me until my third year of university to figure that one out kids. Ah, well. No one’s perfect.

Check out some other fun Maritime Slang if you’re bored at work and want a laugh!

Y'arrr! I bet the crud outta the last person that super didn't like me hat!

~ by Andrea on June 21, 2010.

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