Cape Breton (French: île du Cap-Breton, Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Cheap Breatuinn, Mi’kmaq: U’namakika) is a linguistically complex place. Many Mi’kmaq (Micmac) still speak their Algonquian language; it’s “the only area in the world – outside of Scotland itself – where Gaelic continues as a living language and culture” (the “grouping of people according to their place of origin in Scotland allowed for the transfer, whole and intact, of localized dialects, of music, song and dance traditions, and of patterns of religious adherence”); there’s a community of Acadian French speakers (“When we speak about a cat we pronounce ‘chat’, but when we refer… to a mess or to a wad of chewing tobacco, we pronounce ‘tchat'”); and of course there’s the local variety of English, about which you can get a lively report here. A sample:
The plural of the word “you” is, of course, “youz”. Thus, the phrase “Each of you appears to be quite intoxicated.” becomes “Youz are all fuckin’ right out of ‘er.” If a native Cape Breton is out of work, they are entitled to collect Unemployment Insurance. This is colloquially known as “The Pogey”. Therefore: “Buddy got his pogey, picked up a few points of Keets and got right fuckin’ out of ‘er” is a very common local sentiment.
In Cape Breton it is customary to greet an acquaintance with a warm phrase. Often an inquiry wondering how the other person is faring is rendered as “What’s goin’ on, b’y?” In the fashion of so many cultures, the proper answer to this greeting is “What’s goin’ on?” Everyone else may safely be called “Buddy”. An exchange of pleasantries between two strangers may begin with “Eh? Buddy.” and be reciprocated with “Eh!”
This last is via jb’s MonkeyFilter thread, where you can find more links in the comments.