Ainsley Hawthorn

Freelance contributor

Ainsley Hawthorn, PhD, is a cultural historian and author who lives in St. John’s.

Latest from Ainsley Hawthorn

Half an hour later in Newfoundland: The origin of Canada's 30-minute time zone

With the clocks set to change, cultural historian Ainsley Hawthorn takes a broader look at time: specifically, why Newfoundland has a time zone to call its own.

Why is the English language packed with nautical slang?

Seafaring idioms aren't restricted to seafaring cultures, they're in wide use everywhere English is spoken, from the American Midwest to the Australian Outback. So how did they become such a mainstay of our vocabulary?

Newfoundland's Labour Day has its own distinct history

In Newfoundland and Labrador, we're known for doing things a little bit differently, so it should come as no surprise that Labour Day in the province has a history that's distinct from the rest of Canada, writes Ainsley Hawthorn.
First Person

Fighting an aggressive weed made me realize my garden is full of invasive species

The word "goutweed" strikes terror into the heart of every gardener, writes Ainsley Hawthorn, who's going to war with the invasive species with "better-behaved" flowers.

The dying tradition of the funeral cortege

Funeral processions have existed throughout recorded history, writes Ainsley Hawthorn, emerging independently in many different parts of the world, for purely practical reasons. But the tradition is under threat.

This phantom island was once believed to lie in the Strait of Belle Isle

Somewhere in the Strait of Belle Isle dividing Newfoundland from Labrador lies an island perpetually shrouded in mist. No one lives on the fabled Isle of Demons because any human being who sets foot on its shores is harassed day and night by evil spirits who jabber unintelligibly and conjure terrifying illusions.

3 other submersibles visiting Titanic almost suffered the same fate as Titan

Expeditions to the Titanic in 1991, 1995 and 2000 all had close calls that could have cost the crews their lives.

Newfoundlanders aren't the only baymen out there

The word has been used since the 1600s from Belize to NYC.

Waiting for Sheila's Brush? Here's some of N.L.'s other weather lore

Many Newfoundlanders will be hoping that the snow headed our way this evening is Sheila's Brush — the last big storm of winter — which, according to legend, always falls shortly after St. Patrick's Day.

How Newfoundland became the first country in the Americas to adopt daylight time

At the time, there was debate about whether the move would benefit rich townies or the lower working classes.