Kin To Kaint & Stiddy

an excerpt from Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, & Wazzats by John Gould

KIN TO KAINT: From can see to can’t see; dawn to dusk. In outdoor work the weather is a factor, and in shipyards, on farms, and in the woods it was the custom to work stiddy in pleasant weather from kin to kaint.

STIDDY: Steady. A stiddyin’ hand, and “stiddy as you go!” Use of stiddy in Maine speech runs to almost any situation from a supporting hand to a compliant wind: “You stiddy that joint until I get a spike in her!” means to hold it in position. A stiddy man is reliable. A stiddy job gives security. One time, Greenville’s famous Dr. Pritham was operating, and he noticed the nurse assisting him was nervous. To reassure her he repeatedly said in a whisper, “Stiddy it! Stiddy it!” The poor girl thought he kept saying, “Idiot! Idiot!”