What’s In a Name?

If you find yourself scratching your head over some of our place names, don’t worry – we’re here to help!

Quidi Vidi

Just minutes from downtown St. John’s is the picturesque village of Quidi Vidi, a destination within a destination. Pronounced “Kiddy Viddy” by most, the origin of the name is shrouded in some mystery. Some say it comes from the French name Quidville. Some say it is Latin: que de vide or Italian: qui divide, meaning that which divides. There is also a legend that a woman by the name of Kitty Vitty lived in these parts, and she had a house of ill-repute, so it was named after her! Wherever the truth lies, be sure to take in the entire Quidi Vidi experience! Start off with a visit to the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation, eat your fill at Mallard Cottage and top it all off with an ice cold pint at Quidi Vidi Brewery.

Jellybean Row

Downtown St. John’s is renowned for its brightly coloured rowhouses known affectionately as “Jellybean Row”. There is no shortage of folklore about how the houses came to be painted in such bright colours. According to one story, it was so fishermen could find their way home, through the fog. Like what you see? Take a piece of our colourful architecture home with you – visit Jellybean Row on Duckworth Street.


YellowBelly Brewery & Public House is home to five floors of character-filled brewery, pub, dining and event space. It’s here you’ll find the magnificently crafted brews of our province’s first gastropub. The name harkens back to the Irish immigrants who entered Newfoundland between 1750 and 1830. The “Yellowbellies” were an Irish faction hailing from County Wexford who once famously tied strips of yellow cloth around their middles in a hurling match against the Cornish champions. Following their victory, King George III was heard to remark, “Well done the Yellowbellies!”


Founded by Lord Baltimore in 1621, Ferryland is not only one of the most historic communities in Newfoundland, but in all of North America. While there is some disagreement over the origin of the name, early French fishermen referred to the area as Forillon – meaning “standing out, or separated from the mainland” – this evolved to become Ferryland. Planning a visit? You can get your hands dirty at the Colony of Avalon, paddle out to sea with Stan Cook Sea Kayaking or enjoy a picnic with a view at Lighthouse Picnics.

Running The Goat

Running the Goat Books & Broadsides is a micro press that specializes in books, chapbooks, broadsides and poemphlets by Newfoundlanders and Newfoundland-based writers. But why “Running The Goat”? Well, the press’s name comes from a traditional set dance, often associated with Harbour Deep on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. A traditional set dance for four couples, Running The Goat has a lovely and somewhat complex geometry. When it came time to name the press, they chose Running the Goat because they hoped to capture something of the joy and spontaneity, the playfulness and intensity of the dance in a handmade book. Want to see the dance in action? Click here!

Lawnya Vawnya

Lawnya Vawnya; An Exposition of Independent Art and Culture is a non-profit music and art festival produced each spring in St. John’s. Lawnya Vawnya gets its name from an old Newfoundland expression that means “a good time at a dance or a party” or “plenty to eat”. It’s the perfect name for this lively festival. Check it out!


Chinched Bistro specializes in hand crafted contemporary bistro cuisine. Their dishes are created with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and local flavours. According to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, “chinched” means ‘to stow, stuff or pack tightly; to be full’ – we couldn’t think of a more perfect name.