A razorbill is pictured here at Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve. The bird is also known to some as a 'tinker.' (Submitted by Ian Winter)
Tinker's Point, Tinker's Path, Tinkershare Island, Tinkers Ice Cream, even a traditional Irish song called Yellow Tinker.
The word 'tinker' pops up time and time again in Newfoundland and Labrador culture — but what is a tinker?
Seabird biologist Bill Montevecchi thinks he knows the answer, and the mispronunciation at the middle of it.
"Newfoundland has this incredible vernacular about everything, but particularly about seabirds," Montevecchi said. "And a tinker is one of our most gorgeous seabirds. It's a razorbill auk…. It's a surviving cousin of the great auk that's extinct."
But Montevecchi said there's possibly even more meaning behind this name.
"The razorbill, sometimes when it's sitting on a rock or somewhere, it holds its head up like it's in deep thought," Montevecchi explained. "Sometimes in Newfoundland we might pronounce the word 'thinker' like 't'inker.'
"I think that's where the name came from," Montecvechhi said. "He's not dumb, he's a t'inker."
Two preserved specimens of great auk birds are pictured here mounted in display cases with eggs at a museum. Bill Montevecchi says the bird known as a tinker is a cousin of these now extinct auks. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Montevecchi said the tinker places in Newfoundland are likely named that way due to the birds appearing in that area. As for the bird itself, it's one that Montevecchi has a lot of respect for.
"Popular, beautiful, elegant seabirds," he said. "Big flat bill, yellow tongue, I mean, really stunning. Dressed in a tuxedo, ready for the opera.
"For hunters who used to hunt murres and stuff, a tinker would have been a prize," Montevecchi said. He said the birds are no longer being hunted and their population is now on the rise.
Montevecchi said tinker is just one of many interesting seabird names in the province.
"All of the Newfoundland names for seabirds are stunning. They're really incredible, with good stories and good folklore," Montevecchi said. "We have names for seabirds that are their Old English names."
In the meantime, Montevecchi said the razorbill will stay on his mind.
"We'll keep t'inking about it."