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Kissing the cod

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Kissing the cod is a tradition that began in and continues to occur in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.[1][2] The tradition involves a codfish as well as a type of rum known as Screech.[3] It is traditionally used to welcome newcomers to the island or give them the experience of being a Newfoundlander, some also consider foreigners who've been "Screeched In" to be unofficial Newfoundlanders. This can be also referred to as a "Screech-in". The ceremony may be performed at pubs such as Trapper John's and Christian's on George Street, St. John's,[4] or a travel guide or local family may perform the ceremony.

A Newfoundlander must be present for the ceremony, before which the shot of screech is made ready for consumption. At this time the cod must be kissed. Once this task is finished, the kisser must answer the question, "Is ye a Screecher?" The standard reply is, "Deed I is, me old cock, and long may your big jib draw!"[5] This can be translated as "Yes indeed, my friend, long may your big sail (i.e. jib) draw wind", or "may there always be wind in your sails." Afterwards the kisser must consume the shot of screech. At this time the newcomer is accepted in, and receives a certificate from the Royal Order of Newfoundland Screechers.[5]

It is often the ceremony may differ by region or participants. A Screech-In can occur almost anywhere, however it won't be officially recognized. Some ways the ceremony may differ include the consumption of bologna (pronounced "baloney" by many locals) referred to as Newfoundland Steak during ceremonies, or consumption of other foods important to Newfoundland culture; Jam Jams, Cream Crackers, etc.[citation needed]


  1. "Kiss the cod and become an honorary Canadian in Newfoundland". International traveller magazine. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  2. "This Bar Ritual Lets Visitors Become Honorary Newfoundlanders". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  3. Foley Mackinnon, Kim (May 26, 2016). "Kiss a cod and drink some rum: It's tradition". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  4. "10. Kiss the Cod-Top 10 things you can only do in Canada". Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Screech-In Ceremony". Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

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