Falkland Islands English

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Falkland Islands English
Native to United Kingdom
Region Falkland Islands
Native speakers
About 3000  (date missing)[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
A "Camp" settlement.

Falkland Islands English is mainly British in character. However, as a result of the isolation of the islands, the small population has developed and retains its own accent/dialect, which persists despite a large metropolitan English immigration in recent years. In rural areas (i.e. anywhere outside Port Stanley), known as the "camp" (from Spanish campo), the Falkland accent tends to be stronger. The dialect has resemblances to Australian English, New Zealand English, West Country dialects, Norfolk dialect, and Lowland Scots.

Two notable Falkland island terms are "kelper" meaning a Falkland Islander, from the kelp surrounding the islands (sometimes considered pejorative) and "smoko", for a smoking break (as in Australia and New Zealand).

The word "yomp" was used by the British armed forces during the Falklands War but is passing out of usage.

In recent years, a substantial Saint Helenan population has arrived, mainly to do low-paid work, and they too have a distinct form of English.

Spanish loanwords[edit]

The Falklands English vernacular has a fair amount of borrowed Spanish words (often modified or corrupted); they are particularly numerous, indeed dominant in the local horse-related terminology. For instance, the Islanders use ‘alizan’, ‘colorao’, ‘negro’, ‘blanco’, ‘gotiao’, ‘picasso’, ‘sarco’, ‘rabincana’ etc. for certain horse colours and looks, or ‘bosal’, ‘cabresta’, ‘bastos’, ‘cinch’, ‘conjinilla’, ‘meletas’, ‘tientas’, ‘manares’ etc. for various items of horse gear.[1]

Unlike the older English, French and Spanish place names given by mariners, which refer mainly to islands, rocks, bays, coves, and capes (points), the post-1833 Spanish names usually identify inland geographical locations and features, reflecting the new practical necessity for orientation, land delimitation and management in the cattle and sheep farming. Among the typical such names or descriptive and generic parts of names are ‘Rincon Grande’, ‘Ceritos’, ‘Campito’, ‘Cantera’, ‘Terra Motas’, ‘Malo River’, ‘Brasse Mar’, ‘Dos Lomas’, ‘Torcida Point’, ‘Pioja Point’, ‘Estancia’, ‘Oroqueta’, ‘Piedra Sola’, ‘Laguna Seco’, ‘Manada’, etc.[1]


  1. ^ a b Spruce, Joan. Corrals and Gauchos: Some of the people and places involved in the cattle industry. Falklands Conservation Publication. Bangor: Peregrine Publishing, 1992. 48 pp.