The Story Behind the Name

Nova Scotian’s have been referred to as “Bluenosers” as far back as 1785.  Why?  The answer varies depending who you ask.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines Bluenoser:  “A nickname for:  a native or inhabitant of Nova Scotia”.


The Bluenose was a fishing and racing schooner built in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia by the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard.  She was made famous after winning “The Halifax Herald North Atlantic Fisherman’s International Competition” in October 1921.  This was a race between the fishermen who braved the waters of Grand Banks for as long as 2 months at a time.  For the following 17 years she remained undefeated.  The Bluenose was named Queen of the North Atlantic fishing fleet in 1928 after defeating the Thebaud.  In 1937 the Bluenose began to appear on the Canadian dime, she remains an important symbol of Canada’s heritage.  Here is a link to a short video.


Another account attributes the name to the thick wool mittens that Fishermen’s wives would knit for their husbands.  The Atlantic Ocean is cold, windy and damp.  Runny noses were part of the job, as the fishermen wiped the cold sea spray off their face they unknowingly dyed their noses blue because of the low quality blue dye used to add colour to the mittens.  After a fishing trip the fishermen would return home with blue noses, thus the name Bluenosers.